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An effort to remove the Rowan County Airport from Salisbury city limits cleared another hurdle today as a Senate Finance Committee voted in favor of the legislation.

N.C. Sen. Andrew Brock, a Davie County republican who also represents Rowan, sponsored the bill, which now appears headed to the full Senate.

In brief remarks supporting the legislation during the committee meeting this afternoon, Brock said Salisbury took in the airport, “just to annex the airplanes to get the tax revenue … and since that time, the city has put no money into the airport.”

Rowan County commissioners have made that argument in asking the General Assembly to remove the airport from Salisbury. N.C. Rep. Carl Ford, a Republican who previously served on the county board, sponsored a companion bill in the House.

But city leaders say Salisbury has spent millions extending water and sewer lines since the 2004 annexation and provides fire protection to the airport. They’ve also offered to lower the city’s property tax rate at the airport.

Brock’s bill had been written to make the de-annexation effective as soon as the legislation became law, but he amended it during the Finance Committee meeting to make it effective at the end of the current fiscal year, to avoid the governments having to prorate taxes, he said.

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