18 months ago, a local family offered Johnston County 13 acres (the highlighted but not developed land above) if the County Commissioners would agree to build a park on the land. After thorough research with the County Manager, local business people, and non-profit leaders, a local park was not feasible without a perpetual source of revenue.
That gift and conversation started many more conversations to discover a revenue source for parks and recreation, during which it was discovered that the same tax provision used for local Fire Departments could be used to provide other services such as Parks and Recreation if a need and support could be demonstrated.
So we propose a 0.04% property tax for residents of the McClemore Fire District, the revenue of which would be used to purchase open space and develop various parks and recreation properties such as picnic shelters, walking trails, athletic facilities, children’s playgrounds, pet parks, community buildings, or an aquatic center. That is why we call it 4FORPARKS, because we’re asking for a 0.04% property tax to develop and maintain parks and recreation facilities.
That is why we call it 4FORPARKS, because we’re asking for a 0.04% property tax to develop and maintain parks and recreation facilities.
Practically speaking, if passed, this will result in residents of a home valued at $200,000 paying an additional $80 per year in property taxes, less than $7 a month for the opportunity to enjoy parks, walking trails, playgrounds, athletic facilities, and picnic shelters right here in our community.
What will the new Tax District do?
The proposed new Cleveland Area Parks and Recreation Tax District will be created for the specific purpose of:
- Acquiring open space in the Cleveland Community
- Developing community parks for use by community citizens
- Building family recreational facilities including playgrounds, walking trails, picnic shelters, athletic fields, and if we dream big enough, eventually a community center
- Maintaining parks and recreational facilities and grounds
How will the Tax District be formed?
The Johnston County Board of Commissioners have the authority under G.S. 153A-301 & 302 to create a recreation service district. Under the statute they can form the district if:
- There is a demonstrated need – The lack of recreation facilities to accommodate our rapidly growing community is a dire need with no foreseeable resolution without local funding.
- It is impractical to provide the services on a countywide basis – Because our county has elected to delegate the responsibility for park funding to municipalities, any county-wide increase in taxes to provide recreation funding for unincorporated areas would be a double tax on municipal residents. This makes it impractical to solve our need at the county level.
- It is economically feasible to provide the services – The McLemore Fire District has enough assets to create the funding necessary to acquire open space, build recreation facilities, and maintain those facilities at a very low tax rate for individual taxpayers.
- There is a demonstrable demand to provide the services – Citizens and community leaders have been demanding these services from County Commissioners in order to address the urgent need to preserve open space and build active and passive parks in our community.