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Jan 28, 2013

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Brian

Since I saw that "highest property tax in the state" quote the other day, I couldn't help but think there is relationship to how much we sprawl. Since the discussion of libraries came up...wondering how man libraries we have per capita compared to other localities in NC. We really do need to stop annexing and adding additional water, sewer, transportation and public safety costs to our balance sheet. If you grow inward (aka density), no new infrastructure is needed. Dave Ribar's points were interesting and I wonder what that would look like when you added in fees for municipal services (water, sewer, waste, stormwater) that are above and beyond property taxes.

hartzman

not bribing the N&R with public notice money would be a great start.

council and the county votes to give them money, and the N&r endorses the status quo.

we have had some of the most corrupt local gov in the history of our community...

Stephen

Huh?

I certainly could be misreading the chart, but Greensboro isn't even THE highest in Guilford County....

NC Property Rates

Roch

Thanks, Stephen. Tony misrepresented the data.

Roch

Stephen, could you drop me a line? sysop@wirecom.com

Stephen

David Ribar linked the same on Facebook, but I'll take credit for googling 'nc municipal tax rates' with my own fingers this morning...

Fec

Thank God for the walled garden.

Tony Wilkins

I should have been more specific in my original post. The article to which I referenced clearly stated "major North Carolina cities". Rookie mistake.
From the Greensboro City Manager:
Greensboro .6325
Durham .5675
Winston-Salem .4910
Charlotte .4370
Raleigh .3826

Tony Wilkins

Ed, I've e-mailed you a copy of the four page report released by the City Manager yesterday in case you want to make that available.

Worst person on the Internet

"I should have been more specific in my original post. The article to which I referenced clearly stated "major North Carolina cities"."

That was intuitive to some of us. To others you have committed an unpardonable sin and your credibility is gone forever, you miserable enabler of mediocrity. All hail the pissants!

Fec

TW, you're welcome to run ideas by us, lest you get hoodoo'd by the city or Country BBQ. That tenderloin biscuit could not have weighed 5 lbs.

Andrew Brod

Silly me. I intuited that "THE highest property tax rate in NC" meant THE highest property tax rate in NC.

Tony Wilkins

You've had that biscuit on your mind, haven't you fec.
Luring you back over to District 5.

Andrew Brod

Because I'm curious about such things, I found THE highest property tax rate in NC: 0.9000 in the little town of Maxton, which straddles the Robeson-Scotland county line. Is that rate comparable or relevant to the Greensboro? No, but now we know the highest number.

Tony Wilkins

Andrew, did you happen to check the lowest? Just curious.

Andrew Brod

Wesley Chapel, in Union County: .0165.

It's just outside the I-485 beltway, south-southeast of Charlotte.

Worst person on the Internet

We're also kicking ass on Ahoskie, Aulander, Creedmore and Bunn, and we've got Fair Bluff in our crosshairs. That's good enough for me.

Roch

"I've e-mailed you a copy of the four page report released by the City Manager yesterday in case you want to make that available." -- Tony

Is that the same four page report that Zack Matheny brought to our attention a week ago (as seen on Greensboro 101)? The one that compared Greensboro's property taxes and selected user fees to four other North Carolina cities?

Stephen

For what it's worth, I'm all for responsibly lowering taxes. And splitting hairs.

Kim

The leaders in CLT have bragged for years about not raising the rate. They just jack up the revals as often as they could.

polifrog
Wesley Chapel, in Union County: .0165.

It's just outside the I-485 beltway, south-southeast of Charlotte.

And quite a high growth area, I might add.

Andrew Brod

Right, but on a local level, growth generally causes low taxes rather than the other way around.

Brian

So we want to lower the property tax rate just for the sake of lowering the tax rate? When we already have a $6 million budget gap? What does lowering that number get us? Pride? Do we have actual evidence that our own economic development is hindered by this? Do we want to shift the tax burden to businesses and away from homeowners (a la CLT and Raleigh)? It does seem clear that we have an over reliance on the property tax whereas other jurisdictions seem to use the "other fee" category quite well to raise funds. How good at we (the county)at collecting taxes? (I know of a commercial property in my neighborhood that hasn't paid taxes since 2005 and its bill now stands at over $26,000 and it doesn't look like the County cares.) So, yeah, let's lower property taxes and let's continue to find ways to lower the cost of providing municipal services, but let's not do it just because we can.

Kim

Sometimes you get what you pay for, even with city services. The trash collection program in CLT, at the time, was pitiful.

polifrog

Brod:

Right, but on a local level, growth generally causes low taxes rather than the other way around.

The reality is that low Union Co. taxes drew economic activity out of the relatively higher taxed Charlotte area.

During my childhood Union Co. was southern countryside along Providence Rd (Hwy 16). Economic activity and growth in the area was what one would expect, low, so were the taxes.

There is growth there now, spurred by the low taxes that came first. Remember, Union Co. was Jesse Helms country.

Worst person on the internet

You may have lived there, but that doesn't fit the narrative.

Brian

And the evidence that low taxes spurred growth in Union Co. comes from where?

Roch

Well said, Brian.

polifrog

I suppose I could point to this but I suspect a charge of bias would follow.

To the southeast of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County lies the county of Union. The northwest portions of this county represents one of the fastest growing areas in the country. Low property taxes, great schools, and many wonderful communities with large wooded lots are but a few of the reasons.

Regardless, I provide information based on decades of experience living in and traveling through this exact area. Brian provides nothing, not even a theoretical alternative explaining the existence of extreme growth along the outside edge of a relatively high taxed, albeit vibrant locality.

Ed Cone

The growth is driven by Charlotte and so not sure how it's relevant to GSO, short of the sudden hypergrowth of a large, relatively-high taxed urban center in, say, Reidsville.

The property taxes in NJ are famously high, but I don't think a North Carolinian can really appreciate how high unless you see a given house and find out its tax bill. Astounding. No real point there beyond, man, those people pay a lot in taxes.

Spag

Well someone once said "if you want nice things,you have to pay for them". New Jersey is really nice, isn't it?

Ed Cone

Parts of NJ are very nice, to an extent that can surprise those of us raised on stereotypes of the Garden State. But the property taxes are startlingly high. I'm no expert on the political culture or finances of the state, and lack any real sense of the relevance of its tax structure to our own. As I said, no real point there beyond, man, those people pay a lot in taxes.

Brian Clarey

My friends in the Northeast pay a month in property taxes what I pay in a year. I do not complain about the taxes in NC, and neither do most of the people who relocate here from the North.

Joe Killian

Not just the north. I've got friends in much of the rest of the country who think I'm making up the tax rate here and wonder how it's this low.

For people who've lived here much of their life though that isn't a lot of comfort.

Robbie Perkins

We need to find the $6,500,000 to close the gap between projected revenue and projected expenses for 2013-2014 budget before we decide to cut the tax rate. Also, citizens need to look at the total cost of local government in order to make an apples to apples comparison. There are many ways for local government(cities and counties) to raise revenue, one of which is the property tax rate. Another way to lower the tax rate is to grow the tax base, especially with commercial properties that do not require as many services from local government.

Hartzman

"on a local level,
growth generally causes low taxes
rather than the other way around."

Do you mean private sector growth,
or taxpayer funded subsidized government debt fueled "growth"
which usually/almost leads to higher taxes a lot?

Level playing fields for young entrepreneurship leads to growth.

We don't have that.

A clean government can lead to growth.

We don't have that.

Incentive's for small bushiness can lead to growth.

We seem to favor embedded elite local interests,
with everyone else's money.
.
.
.
"Another way to lower the tax rate is to grow the tax base,
especially with commercial properties
that do not require as many services from local government."

It must be Robbie.

Hartzman

"We need to find the $6,500,000 to close the gap between projected revenue and projected expenses for 2013-2014 budget before we decide to cut the tax rate."

"before we decide to cut the tax rate."
.
.
.
Guilford County's 2012-13 proposed budget pre real estate revaluation included a 9.5 cent tax increase.

A later revised budget required a 4 cent property tax increase.

The final budget included a tax decrease.
.
.
.
Considering the city's penchant for spending money, and is sitting on about $200,000,000 off balance sheet, don't be surprised if we get a decrease before the election, just like Guilford County did last year.

Roch

Mr. Mayor, is it true that commercial properties cost the city less? Is there any empirical analysis that demonstrates that or is it an assumption?

Ed Cone

I'd also like to see an analysis of that total cost of local government Robbie mentions. Anyone know where to find such a thing, or, barring that, find the components to build one?

Tony Wilkins

Mr. Hartzman, I mentioned that a built-in tax increase was included in last year's budget since we kept the same rate (.6325) after the tax reval.

Surprising to me, I was told at the meeting, that reval was revenue neutral for the city.

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