Benson Approves Tax Increase

Water, garbage collection also increasing

By Tom Woerner
Dunn Daily Record

BENSON – The cost of owning property in Benson is going up after the town narrowly approved a 4 cent property tax increase Tuesday night.

The board approved the new fiscal year budget for 2023-24 with a 3-2 vote, with Commissioners Maxine Holley and Max Raynor objecting and voting against the spending plan. The rate will now be 59 cents per $100 property valuation. A portion of that number, 12 cents, is because of the town’s fire tax.

Town Manager Kimberly Pickett said the move was a necessity.

“We have to increase the tax rate if we are going to keep up with the services we provide,” Pickett said. “We are facing the question of whether we raise taxes or we decrease the services we are providing.”

She said in her budget message to commissioners that the increase is also due to the “increased cost of doing daily business and the demands of running a local entity.”

The property tax rate in Benson has not increased since 2006. That move, an increase of 6 cents, was made because the town’s fund balance was approaching unacceptable levels based on state standards. 

Pickett estimates the increase will generate $125,000 for the town. The total spending plan approved Tuesday is approximately $15.7 million.

Holley expressed her reluctance before voting against the plan.

“I am not in favor of raising taxes but we do what we have to do,” Holley said.

Taxes aren’t the only thing going up. Benson residents will see water rates going up by 14 percent and there will be an additional 4 percent increase to the refuse collection rate.

Town employees could benefit from the new budget with up to 5 percent salary increases for employees, based on job performance.

In other action, the town swore in a new police officer, with Dwight Whitaker officially joining the force in a brief ceremony.

In a consent agenda item, the board approved paying the expenses of Commissioner William Neighbors for his trip to the International Council of Shopping Centers, or ICSC convention, in Las Vegas.

Benson Town Public Information Officer Tyler Douglas said the town has been represented at the convention for several years, with the organization being focused on economic development.


  1. Enjoying your Democrat majority council I see. Love of money is the root of all solutions? No no…that’s not how that saying goes! The more you are taxed, the more of a slave to your government you are.

  2. With property re-evaluation, that 8 or so percent increase will more than likely be closer to 14 percent.

  3. You guys have finally figured it out! Us progress liberals are getting our increase of free tax payers money wether they raise your property taxes or not by means of the increased property values via revaluations on your homes every fours years instead of eight years by the Johnston County Tax Office!!!

  4. What are they going to do with the increase? My understanding is that a new slide will go in at the park and one new push mower will be purchased. The rest of the money will go into the town boards pocket. I have the right to feel this way as I am a property owner in the town of Benson. Time to sell! Not much of a town anyway.

  5. We have to increase the tax rate if we are going to keep up with the services we provide,” Pickett said. You wouldn’t have to keep up services if you stopped over development. Duh

  6. Will any of this money go to fix the intersection of 50/27 hwy and 301? The asphalt there is terrible, really looks bad on the town.

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