CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - Carolina Beach Town Council met Tuesday to discuss proposed budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.
At the meeting, Mayor Joe Benson proposed increasing the pay of the town’s police officers.
“In order to maintain and recruit, in the first place, officers out of the academy, we have to increase that pay,” Benson said.
During the town’s budget retreat in January, the council was presented with the results of a police pay study it commissioned.
That study showed salaries of Carolina Beach police officers were less than officers from other surrounding municipalities.
The town has already considered a 2 point increase to the budget, the mayor’s proposal would increase it to 3 points.
Property taxes in Carolina Beach are $0.22 for every $100. The new proposal will increase that to $0.25 for every $100.
To put that into context, a $400,000 tax assessed home would increase $120 a year, or $10 a month.
Benson’s says that the three point increase would represent another $590,000 of anticipated revenue.
“If a decision is made to increase property taxes, then we have to be able to point to something defensible and something concrete,” said Benson. “Increasing police is 100 percent one of those things for all the hard work that our officers do, particularly before the high tourist season.”
Benson hopes the pay raise will bring officers in and retain the talent that they have on the force.
“An officer that is familiar with the residents, the businesses, the town in general, a longer term that pays dividends," he said.
Town council plans to hold another meeting to continue discussions on the proposed pay increase and the town’s overall budget.
If the proposal is approved, it would go into effect at the start of the fiscal year on June 1.