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The original item was published from 3/27/2023 9:21:59 AM to 7/28/2023 12:00:00 AM.

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Marketing & Communications

Posted on: March 27, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Mayor Joines’ Statement on House Bill 459

Mayor Allen Joines today released the following statement on House Bill 459:

“City Council members and I have learned that House Bill 459 was filed yesterday to deannex Smith Reynolds Airport from the city of Winston-Salem. This action would result in significant negative impacts on the neighborhoods adjacent to the airport, as well as the city’s finances.

“Deannexation of Smith Reynolds Airport would negatively impact hundreds of residents in numerous neighborhoods along Carver School Road and Bowen Boulevard, which are located adjacent to the airport. It appears Smith Reynolds Airport is the only airport in North Carolina located closely to a major urban neighborhood. There is increasing concern among the residents in the Northeast Ward that future development at the airport, especially if it contributes to increased noise and traffic, could result in decreased property values and quality of life and impact residents’ ability to sell their property.  Moreover, deannexation would diminish the city’s ability to respond to residents’ concerns, including the council member’s oversight of this area.

“The city also remains concerned about the deforesting of over 200 acres of airport property adjoining Brushy Fork Creek. The removal of this established vegetation has accelerated erosion of the stream bank and has negatively impacted homeowners in adjacent neighborhoods. This problem has only intensified since the county removed the aforementioned vegetation in 2015. To date, no improvements have been made to the stream bank leaving nearby residents frustrated. The city continues to advocate for resolution to this matter.

“The single largest fiscal impact associated with the potential deannexation of the airport is the loss of property tax revenue. The Fiscal Year 2023 tax base at the airport totaled $78.7 million, with a projected value of $80 million for FY 2024. The loss of $80 million in tax base would equate to a loss of $506,000 in revenue at the current tax rate; this loss equates to almost two-tenths of a penny on the tax rate.  

“In addition, the city could potentially lose revenue from short-term vehicle rentals with losses estimated at $18,000 annually. Moreover, the loss of property tax base would impact the ad valorem distribution of local option sales tax revenues to Winston-Salem at an estimated impact of $24,000 in lost sales tax distributions. Altogether, the potential general purpose revenue loss to the city would total approximately $550,000, or a quarter-cent on the tax rate. This analysis does not factor in any impacts on stormwater fees. While the tarmac area of the airport was exempted from stormwater fees via local act many years ago, the surrounding vertical structures on the airport property pay stormwater fees, at an annual estimated amount of $48,000.

“City Council members and I welcome the opportunity to continue discussions with county leaders about how we can support the future development of Smith Reynolds Airport while ensuring the concerns of residents in the surrounding neighborhoods are heard and addressed.”


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