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Mecklenburg County budget includes tax increase for most homeowners

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Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio is recommending a property tax increase next fiscal year to fund higher salaries, new facilities and programs to help with housing, education, parks and health care.

Diorio presented her budget to county commissioners Thursday morning. The budget includes a 3.5% increase over the so-called revenue-neutral tax rate.

"Maintaining a revenue-neutral property tax rate is not possible to achieve our many critical goals," Diorio told commissioners.

That new property tax rate of 47.31 cents per $100 would apply to all properties in the county. But because property values in the county’s revaluation this year rose faster for homes than commercial properties, homeowners will see a bigger tax increase on average than commercial property owners.

Diorio says a mid-priced home would see an annual increase of $273 on their property tax bill. That’s a 17% jump. A total of 91% of homes would see a tax increase, compared to just 55% of commercial properties.

Mecklenburg County

And because the lowest-priced homes in gentrifying areas generally around uptown saw the steepest increases in value, homeowners in those areas are likely to see the biggest increases. The owner of a home priced in the lowest third would see their property tax bill rise by $312 — a 30% increase.

Mecklenburg County

County commissioners are expected to vote on the budget June 6.

Here are some highlights from the new budget:

  • Total operating fund revenues would be $1.4 billion, an 8% increase. 
  • The budget would fund $4 billion worth of bonds, including $2.5 billion for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools facilities. That’s less than the $3 billion CMS asked for, but would still be a record amount. 
  • Fully funds CMS’s request for an additional $39 million in operating funds next year, to increase salaries for staff. 
  • Increases of $25 million for housing support; $29 million for health care; $40 million for environmental land acquisition; and about $33 million for pay increases for county employees, MEDIC workers and public nurses. 

The city is also considering its budget. Even though City Manager Marcus Jones has recommended a revenue-neutral tax rate, most homeowners will still see an additional tax bill increase because of how much valuations increased.
WFAE reporter Kenneth Lee, Jr., contributed to this report.

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Ely Portillo has worked as a journalist in Charlotte for over a decade. Before joining WFAE, he worked at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Charlotte Observer.