Robeson County urges change in sales tax formula distribution

By: By T.C. Hunter - [email protected]
Tom Taylor

LUMBERTON — A resolution to support state legislation that could mean an additional $2 million a year in sales tax revenue for Robeson County was approved Monday night without discussion by the Board of Commissioners.

The resolution to support Senate Bill 126 was given unanimous voice approval as part of the consent agenda during the board’s regular meeting. The legislation, which was introduced on Feb. 22 by Sen. Harry Brown, a Republican from Jacksonville, would change the sales tax distribution formula to the benefit of poorer counties. That would mean Robeson County would receive $1.10 back for every $1 in sales tax generated locally and sent to Raleigh. Currently the county receives $1.04 for every $1 it sends to Raleigh.

Sen. Danny Britt Jr., a Republican from Lumberton, is a co-sponsor of the legislation.

In another matter, the board agreed to financially support the robotics team from the Early College High School at Robeson Community College.

“We’re going to help them,” board Chairman Tom Taylor said after the meeting.

How much money the board allocates to the team will be determined during budget discussions, he said. Those discussions will start in May and must be completed by June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.

Team mentors and members made a presentation to the commissioners. It was explained that as a rookie team the Eagles have competed in three competitions this year, winning the Greensboro District event and placing ninth out of 33 teams at the Raleigh District event.

“We were five points away from going to the nationals in Houston,” Keenan Locklear, Early College science teacher and team mentor, said of the team’s efforts at the state championship event.

Locklear and his students came before the board to ask for $10,000 in order to help the team grow, stage exhibitions around the county and to participate in future competitions. It costs $4,000 just to register for the state championship event and $5,000 for the nationals. Then there are expenses for travel, lodging and food.

“The Eagles is the only robotics team in the region,” Locklear said. “There are no teams in Cumberland County and there are no teams in Scotland County.”

The commissioners also were asked to help the team find other sponsors. Locklear said the names of sponsors would be placed on T-shirts and the robot.

“We give a lot to athletics,” Commissioner David Edge said. “We really need to support academic activities.”

In other business, the board approved:

— A resolution to name Bridge C473 on N.C. 71 the Jimmy Goins Memorial Bridge.

Jimmy Goins was described in the resolution as a decorated veteran, businessman, farmer and champion of the Lumbee people. He died in a traffic accident.

“Mr. Goins was such an inspirational person to our county,” Cummings said.

— A conditional-use permit allowing Craig and Theresa Davis, of Orrum, to establish a wedding and event venue on a 3.18-acre tract of land they own.

— A conditional-use permit allowing Jose Lina Martinez Gonzalez, of Rennert, to establish a garage for storing, repairing and servicing vehicles he uses in his construction business.

Tom Taylor Taylor

By T.C. Hunter

[email protected]

Reach T.C. Hunter at 910-816-1974.

Reach T.C. Hunter at 910-816-1974.