Wake County’s tax base is expected to grow by less than 1% in the current fiscal year, hampered by flat sales-tax revenue and continued declines in motor vehicle tax collections, the county’s top commissioner said this week.

Tony Gurley, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, delivered on Monday the 2010 state of the county address. He said the tax base will grow 0.3% in fiscal 2011.

Wake County “had become accustomed to the tax base growing at 5% or 6%,” Gurley said.

“We are beginning to see glimpses of improvement,” he said.

Property taxes, the county’s largest source of revenue, are growing, though at a much lower rate than before the housing market collapse.

New construction permits are likely to remain flat for the year, according to ­Gurley.

Personal property tax revenues and sales tax revenues will likely be flat as well.

Motor vehicle registration taxes, which have declined for the past two years, are not expected to improve this year, he said.

Gurley touted the county’s success in maintaining a triple-A credit rating. Wake is one of only 22 counties nationally with such top marks.

Economically, Wake County has benefited from its share of the Research Triangle Park area, which is home to about 170 biotechnology firms and is the source of around 42,000 jobs.

The county’s unemployment rate remains below the national average, while the median household income is above the national average.

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