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Board to talk taxes, holiday displays

By Meghan Cookemcooke@salisburypost.com
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners will meet Monday night to discuss issues ranging from holiday displays to occupancy taxes.
The board will consider a proposal from Mike Miller of Miller Davis Studios, a marketing and design firm on North Main Street, for a drive-through holiday park in Summit Corporate Center featuring animated light displays.
Carl Ford, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said there are several legalities and liabilities that the board must weigh.
“Everybody has questions, and I’m sure we’ll hear them Monday,” he said after attending a meeting Wednesday of the Rowan County Tourism Development Authority.
Both the Tourism Authority and the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission voted unanimously to support the proposal last week.
The board will also hear a request from the Rowan Museum to transfer ownership of the property where the museum is located. The old county courthouse at 202 North Main St. would change hands from the county to the museum if the proposal is approved.
Also on the agenda is a discussion of the passage of General Assembly legislation that will allow the city of Salisbury to create its own tourism development authority and an occupancy tax in addition to the tax already established by the county.
“It was a surprise to the majority of the board,” said Commissioner Tina Hall, adding that the county was not included in discussions of this move. “It could represent a significant change in the Tourism Development Authority as we know it.”
Hall said the commissioners will discuss the issue to bring the board up to date and get a handle on the events leading up to the legislation.
When the city first approached the commissioners with the idea to raise the occupancy tax, the board did not feel comfortable raising taxes in a flailing economy, Hall said, and the board planned to revisit the issue when the economy improved.
“We’re just trying to understand and move forward,” she said. “It’s hard to move forward when you don’t know the particulars.”
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the J. Newton Cohen, Sr. Rowan County Administration Building, 130 West Innes St., Salisbury.

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