The Ocracoke Mosquito Control Board (OMCB) will discuss a possible tax increase at its meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 17, in the Community Center.
Mosquito control on the island funded by a tax assessment on homes, vehicles and other real property of $0.01 per $100 of property value and the board is proposing that be raised to $0.02 per $100 of property value.
That means, for example, that a house valued at $350,000, property owners currently pay $35 per year. A $0.02 increase would raise that amount to $70 per year.
The board cannot raise the assessment on its own; it must request this from the Hyde County Board of Commissioners. But before doing so, the board is seeking input from the community.
In recent years it has generated between $50,000 to $60,000 per year. This covers mosquito control activities such as village spraying, larvicide treatment of open (and accessible) water bodies and clearing and cutting of the various existing drainage ditches in the village where property owners will allow access. It any given year this revenue only slightly exceeds operational expenses.
Several years ago, the OMCB tax rate was $0.02 per $100 of value. This rate generated a considerable surplus of the OMCB of approximately $250,000. The current board has used these surplus funds to address drainage problems–puddles, around the village.
To date, the board has successfully addressed the “Blackbeard’s Lodge” puddle on Back Road, the Fig Tree Lane (aka Duck Path) puddle on Back Road and has improved drainage in the North Pond area.
The board recently awarded a contract to improve drainage in the lighthouse area at Silver Lake Drive, Sarah Ellen Drive and Creek Road. The projects have and will continue to drawdown the surplus funds.
The OMCB would like to continue to address drainage problems around the village. Some of the drainage issues the board hopes to address in coming years include:
- Additional lighthouse area improvements.
- The “Edwards Motel Puddle” on Old Beach Road at Sand Dollar Road.
- The “Zillie’s Puddle” on Back Road between Zillie’s and Mark’s Path.
- The Silver Lake Drive puddle between Ride the Wind and the fish house.
- Other puddles or drainage issues brought to us by residents and businesses.
To continue to conduct regular mosquito control operations and address drainage issues, the board will need additional revenue and proposes to the community to raise the mosquito control tax rate.
Input can be given at the May 17 meeting or in writing by mail to P.O. Box 312 Ocracoke, NC 27960, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.