By Terri Tyson
Chatham County, NC – We moved to Chatham County in May 2017 from Chapel Hill. I spoke to the Chatham County Commissioners on Monday evening about the trend we taxpayers and property owners are facing, which is continuing tax increases on our homes, year after year.
The property owners in Chatham County seem to be bearing the brunt of tax increases. However, as reasonable as Chatham County taxes seemed to me when we moved here about six years ago, it has become obvious we are paying more and more taxes. I was recovering from years of tax increase fatigue in Chapel Hill when we moved here. I saw this causing hardships for the average citizen and many of them had to move out of Orange County. Many Chatham County employees cannot afford to live in Chatham County.
Taxes have gone up. Gas to fill our cars has become a major financial investment, and we have general inflation for food and other essentials.
I asked the County Commissioners to see this issue from the citizen’s viewpoint. They may not hear our point of view very often. People are hesitant to stand before them and complain. I believe I am speaking for those who could not be here to let them know how difficult it is to receive higher tax bills every year. The county commissioners may hear regularly from county staff or others with different perspectives.
When I spoke to the commissioners at the budget public hearing in 2019, I pointed out the triple whammy of taxes. There was an increased tax rate on properties, an increase in the sales tax, and a reappraisal of properties. One might hope that when properties are reappraised, the tax rate might be lowered to offset the resulting higher taxes. I am concerned about the amount of taxes we will be paying, when the most recent appraisals are determined. The county appraiser was at our house over the summer.
A problem that seems to never go away is the lost tax revenue to Chatham County when online purchases are made and the taxes erroneously are sent to a bordering county by the company. The company had my location in their computer as Orange County and the county lost that revenue. This situation is repeated over and over again.
Perhaps if Chatham County could prevent this from happening, lots of tax revenue would flow into the County and maybe our taxes would not go up so fast.
Our taxes have increased several times since we moved to Chatham County. We received our tax bill for our house on Thursday. It went up again by a total of 21.5% since 2017.
I saw lots of comments recently on a Chatham County thread on social media about the tax burden on private citizens. People are upset and discouraged. Hopefully the commissioners will be to slow down the tax increases in Chatham County.
Citizens in all parts of Chatham County are looking to their commissioners to ease some of their tax burden. As elected officials, they represent all citizens of Chatham County. This includes those who voted for them, who did not vote for them, and those with different viewpoints or political Party. Voters would like them to consider our pleas to not raise taxes.
I received applause from the audience for my comments.