By Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Mint Hill town staff and Mecklenburg County staff have come to an agreement to remedy the overpayment made by the County for the fire service district tax.

The solution would defray the approximately $176,000 overpayment made to the town from the county, due to a miscalculation in projected tax revenue from Mint Hill’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ, which the county estimated at $500,000, but which turned out to be only around $276,000.

The overpayment would be defrayed against a payment of $175,000 which was made to the county by the town a few years ago, to keep the Mint Hill branch library afloat.

Both Bobbie Shields, interim Mecklenburg County manager and Brian Welch, Mint Hill town manager, have been authorized to enter into the agreement to defray the payment by their respective boards.

At the June 13 Mint Hill Board of Commissioners meeting, Brian Welch presented the pan to the Board of Commissioners, where they authorized him to enter into the agreement.

The final numbers of the arrangement have not been finalized, as the county is continuing to collect money and the exact amount of the overpayment has not been discovered, but Welch said if the difference between the overpayment and the money paid for the library is small, one or two thousand dollars, it will most likely be forgiven.

The resolution is an improvement from the plan the county seemed to be favoring at their May 21 meeting, a repayment by the residents of Mint Hill’s ETJ via a one-cent tax increase which would last until the money was regained by the county.

In a memo written by Welch to the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners on the matter, his main points for not following the county’s discussed plan were that no payback was warranted due to the fire service being provided at the highest level, and that, “It is not fair to impose a tax increase on residents of the ETJ due to a mistake made by the County.”

Moving forward, the town will meet with Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department and Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department to finalize monies that will be absorbed by the town once the deal with the county is finalized.

Both IVFD Finance Committee and the MHVFD Board of Directors voted to support this plan in their June meetings, before Welch presented it to the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners.