Pittsboro, NC – On June 17, 2019, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners formally adopted the county budget for fiscal year 2019-20, which includes a few revisions to the budget proposed by the County Manager’s Office. The commissioners kept the manager’s recommended tax rate of 67 cents and the general fund budget total remains at $125 million.
The new tax rate of 67 cents is a 4.19 cent increase over last year’s property tax rate. This represents a 6.7 percent increase in the Chatham County property tax rate in just one year.
Chatham County collects relatively high property taxes. Of the one hundred counties in North Carolina, Chatham County is ranked 6th by median property taxes, and 45th by median tax as percentage of home value.
Chatham County’s higher property taxes are partially due to property values, as the median home value in Chatham County is $193,900. For comparison, the state-wide median property value is $155,500
Commissioner Vice Chair Diana Hales, vice chair of the Board of Commissioners, said, “A low tax rate is always the goal. Any necessary tax increases must benefit actual public safety, education, and the entire Chatham community. The approved budget achieves those objectives. The small tax increase supports important school needs, seniors, and essential emergency services. It also invests in our graduating seniors and our continued commitment to affordable and emergency housing in Chatham.”
Hales and Commissioner Chairman Mike Dasher both said that they are particularly glad the budget includes funds for a much-needed emergency communications system, including new towers, and a new emergency operations center. “Chatham is growing and we must be prepared to handle weather disasters and other emergencies,” Hales noted.
The general fund budget revisions make corrections or updates to revenue sources and estimated costs for new staff positions and general liability insurance. For example, the Sheriff’s Office will receive $347,999 in revenue from the school system to support three school resource officer positions added earlier in 2019. The revised budget also adds $200,000 to the contingency line item, restoring it to the current year’s funding level.
Two additional fire districts requested changes in their tax rates after the budget deadline. These taxes are paid by taxpayers in those districts.
* Parkwood Fire District’s tax rate will increase from 10 cents to 11 cents per $100 valuation to support its contract with the City of Durham to serve that district.
* Siler City Fire District’s tax rate will increase from 9 cents to 12 cents per $100 valuation. The increase will support the hiring of additional full-time staff.
For more details on the Chatham County budget for FY 2019-20 visit www.chathamnc.org/annualbudgets.