The problem is that we have allowed Chatham county to become a bedroom community

by Mark Stinson

Siler City, NC – Tell me how a 1996  $32,000 double wide modular on 9/10 of an acre would ever sell for $98,000 with the addition of a porch and an $18 (yes, I said $18) carport and a utility room all built from scrap and recycled materials. One near me like it just sold for $45,000 on 4.11 acres of land in better shape with a new heat pump. It sold for less than half of its tax value.

doublewideEvery home in my area has spiked in value like mine  and we have had no development, no significant road maintenance or repave in 25 years just that stringy asphalt patch stuff that makes roads look like they are covered with snakes.  I can’t personally drink the county water against doc’s orders. The schools on this end of the county get treated like red headed stepchildren, while schools in the northern end get all the bells and whistles.

Chatham County is one of the fastest growing counties in the state now just like Wake was years ago.  I wouldn’t live in Wake county if you paid me to.

It’s depressing that I realize there will be a point in time ordinary people won’t be able to afford to live in this county. Rent has tripled, taxes shot up, water bills shot up, and we still have potholes, bad water pressure, and feel shorted on this end of the county. Many of my friends and neighbors feel we don’t have the representation and political pull the north east corner of the county has.

My solution is simple. I will sell you my house on 9/10s of an acre, bad heat pump, needing paint, carpet and about $20,000 worth of other repairs for tax value. You can enjoy potholes, low water pressure, sweating in 100 degree heat and the lack of everything most north eastern Chathamites have, but you will have the privilege of the same inflated home value .

If commissioners of the past had focused on creating a business friendly environment here instead of catering to wealthy developers we would have good paying jobs, a strong tax revenue from business and property taxes much lower than today.

It’s not the tax office that’s the problem. They are doing a fine job. It’s the fact we have allowed our county to become a bedroom community for those working outside the county. That is the problem. Why buy a $500,000 home in Wake county when you can get one here for $250,000 with a bonus of a lower tax rate. This is what’s driven up home values and taxes. This is what’s pushing ordinary people out of Chatham.

I personally feel there should be an impact fee imposed on any home sold to a non Chatham resident to supplement infrastructure expansion to accommodate new residents. People who grew up here and are trying to live here deserve a break. Those on fixed incomes are already screwed.

I said I was done with the tax issue and I am.