by Brian Bock
Pittsboro, NC – I want to commend the county commissioners for approving a budget that for the fifth year in a row funds key items while keeping our tax rate steady. After holding public hearings, three work sessions, and making a few changes and compromises to the manager’s recommendations, Commissioner Crawford asked for a motion to approve the budget as worked on. In a nices how of unity, Commissioner Hales (D) motioned and it was seconded by Commissioner Petty (R). The motion passed unanimously!
I realize that technically they could still raise our taxes before June 30th, but it would be an unprecedented move to not adopt the legal resolution after directing staff to do draft it. Additionally, it would be nearly impossible to get the required public input prior to the state mandated deadline.
I must admit, I believed that when the progressives won the election last year, they would ignore recent gains in economic growth and immediately raise our property taxes to fund dozens of unnecessary and costly projects. I am happy to be wrong.
Economic efforts and policies put in place over the past several years have resulted in our local economy recovering faster than the rest of the North Carolina. I was particularly pleased to see that sales tax revenue increased again this year; up 16% locally compared to 12% for NC. Other revenue sources have improved as well.
As would be expected in a budget of this size, there are many line items that we conservatives don’t like, but overall it is a good budget. I was happy that the professional staff was able prepare a budget that funded the commissioner’s priorities and that the commissioners voted in the best interest of Chatham County citizens to not raise our property tax rate.
Brian Bock is Chairman of the Chatham County Republican Party