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Hope Mills board to vote Monday on altering terms for elective office

Commissioners will also consider county’s offer on tax distribution


HOPE MILLS — The town board will consider changing the format for electing a mayor and town commissioners to provide for staggered four-year terms when it meets Monday.

Currently, those officials are elected every two years. The board will vote on whether to alter the town charter to have elections for four-year, staggered terms with elections held in odd-numbered years.

The board will meet at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

At its last meeting, the board opened the floor to allow anyone to speak for or against the proposed change. No one spoke in favor of staggered terms; two residents voiced opposition to the new term structure as well as allowing the commissioners to approve changing the charter themselves.

The matter could be put to a vote of town residents if enough of them sign a petition to call a referendum. At least 10% of the town’s registered voters must sign the petition to force a vote.

The last time the town considered changing terms, voters decided to keep terms at two years.

Annexation decision

The board of commissioners also will hold a hearing on a contiguous annexation of 1.2 acres at 3808 Park Garden court.

Residents are invited to speak for or against the annexation during the public-comment period. Speakers must register with the town clerk at least 15 minutes before the start of the meeting and are asked to limit their comments to three minutes.

The board also will consider the Sales Tax Interlocal Agreement.

The Cumberland County Commissioners announced the county’s intention to change the way sales tax revenue is distributed from per-capita, or per person, to ad-valorem, or according to property value, according to the agenda set by Chancer McLaughlin, the interim town manager.

The Cumberland County Mayors Coalition, which is chaired by Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner, asked the county to grant a five-year extension of the current agreement, but the plan was rejected.

According to a new proposal presented by the county, the agreement has been extended once in 2019.

According to Cumberland County’s website, the mayors of Eastover, Falcon, Fayetteville, Godwin, Hope Mills, Linden, Spring Lake, Stedman and Wade and the chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners make up the Cumberland County Mayors Coalition. The coalition meets quarterly.

The current sales tax agreement, which was signed in 2003, expires on June 30. That could result in a loss of about $1.9 million in sales tax revenue for the town in the first fiscal year, according to the memo. That would likely increase taxes for Hope Mills residents.

The county has offered an agreement that delays the change to ad-valorem taxation until June 2025, but Cumberland County would receive 100% of any growth.

The agreement must be approved by all municipalities before March 15 or the county will proceed with the move to ad-valorem taxation.

The interlocal agreement extension must be signed by people representing the municipalities of Fayetteville, Hope Mills, Stedman, Spring Lake, Wade, Falcon, Godwin, Linden, and Eastover and the county.

The Hope Mills Board of Commissioners is expected to discuss Cumberland County’s proposal at Monday’s board meeting.

Hope Mills, Board of Commissioners, elections, taxes