From quiet countryside to tax battle zone: Chatham’s property tax uproar

By Patty White

Siler City, NC – Property taxes, again. I get it that growth in the county, no matter what or who is driving it, needs to be accommodated and paid for in some fashion.

photo by jcomp on Freepik

However, I offer that hitting everyone in the county (which has vastly different growth and use patterns across it) with higher property taxes year after year is an unfair way to do it.

Pardon my super simplistic way of looking at it but I’ll use myself as an example and I am certainly open to criticism of where my thinking is somehow flawed:

  1. I am 59 years old and don’t have and won’t have any kids in the Chatham school system.
  2. My 50 acres in very rural southwestern Chatham county is mostly wooded and doesn’t consume hardly any county services as I have a well and haul off our trash to the local collection center.
  3. My house and land don’t run up and down the county (or state) maintained roads and I actually work from home like a lot of us do now.

Why are my property taxes in a pretty darn rural and undeveloped area going up to pay for so many others who ARE using, consuming and requiring infrastructure and services by bringing higher consumption aspects to the county operations?

Yes, yes, we all benefit from better roads, shopping options, closer services and a better educated community but some of us are actively increasing that consumption and expense and some of us really have little ongoing impact.

Bring back to the ballot the property transfer tax that I suspect the real estate companies killed because it ate into their profit margins?  If I sell, it means a release of cash that hurts much less at that time than just paying more and more endlessly for what others are increasingly using or demanding.

Payment of a higher transfer (sales) tax at the time each one of those prison cell-looking apartments is sold or a big box mansion sells sure seems more equitable than taxing those of us quietly minding our own uses of county services and know they are at a minimum compared to the new growth coming.

Just my 1.5 cents (adjusted for inflation).