Because of property revaluations, tax equal to an 11-cent increase
Eric C. Deines
A $213.1 million budget allowing for the construction of two middle schools, a high school expansion and a large jail housing unit was approved by the Cabarrus County Commissioners on Monday.
The budget provides a flat tax rate of 63 cents per $100 valuation. However, when paired with the recent countywide revaluation that sent property values up by over 20 percent, the 63-cent tax rate is equal to an 11-cent tax increase to the average resident.
To keep the tax rate revenue neutral, the county would have had to lower the rate to 53 cents per $100 valuation.
The budget was passed 4-1 by the board, with Commissioner Coy Privette opposing.
Privette said the 63-cent tax rate paired with the revaluation would be too much for some residents, namely senior adults.
“In light of that fact, there’s no way I can vote for a budget that continues to go up and up and up…,” Privette said.
Commissioners Robert Carruth, Joni Juba and Grace Mynatt responded to Privette by saying that lowering the tax rate would also mean counting programs.
“You can’t cut the tax rate unless you come up with something to cut on the spending side,” Carruth said, who added that much of the county’s budget is made up of state and federal mandates and school construction funding.
Juba, quoting Privette, said that the inflation of the county’s budget is an obvious reflection of the inflation of all costs going up, be it gas or other services the county provides.
“‘It continues to go up and up and up,’ but so does our population. And so does the cost of goods to live. And so does the cost of services (provided by the county),” Juba said.
The 2008-2009 budget includes the financing packages for several important construction projects:
• Two Cabarrus County Schools middles planned for the southwest and northwest parts of the county in 2011 and 2013 respectively were moved up to 2009, a total cost of $60 million.
• The construction of a wing at A.L. Brown High School was moved from January 2011 to Feb. 2009.
• The financing and construction of a 480-bed housing unit, the final component of the new jail and sheriff’s office project, will also begin in 2008.
• Contact Eric C. Deines: 704-789-9141