by Joseph Coletti
Senior Fellow, Fiscal Studies, John Locke Foundation
Natural growth will provide $32 million for the county, but $10 million of that goes to already pledged debt service on recently passed bonds. By Billman’s account funding the school board request of another $59 million would require a 3.6-cent tax increase (presumably the board has already accounted for $5 million), but he reminds readers that the school board will be back again in future years to ask for more money. County Commissioners are also considering bonds for school construction, Wake Tech, and greenways. Together, they would add another 4 cents to the tax rate. All told, the median homeowner would face a tax increase of more than $200, or 12.4 percent. Since 2013, county taxes have increased 19.3 percent.
Billman naturally blames the General Assembly and says the county has “room to grow” its tax burden because it is 25 percent less than Durham’s tax rate and 33 percent less than Mecklenburg’s rate. Those differences translate to between $417 and $546 higher taxes for the median homeowner.