Development

Here’s what Charlotte property owners could pay in taxes under the proposed rates

When the city and county released proposed tax rates this month, property owners got their first glimpse at what their new bills could be — and for the majority of residents, they’ll be higher. But what exactly will those increases look like?

Last week, the county said that the taxes on 65% of residential properties would increase under its proposed budget. Taxes on more than 70% of commercial properties— typically businesses — will be higher.

Combined, the city and county have a proposed tax rate that totals 96.5 cents per $100 of assessed value. The current rate is $1.31 but because properties saw such large increases in value, a lower overall rate still means higher taxes for the majority of property owners.

Both the city and county will have to vote on the proposed budgets.

And the tax increases won’t be felt equally across the city. The median increase for residential property values was 43%, and the median increase for commercial property was 77%.

An Observer analysis found that properties in many of the rapidly changing areas near uptown have seen much sharper increases. Residential property values skyrocketed, and some even quadrupled in areas like Cherry, Biddleville and Optimist Park.

Many of those areas have historically been African-American or low-income communities, but are now dealing with the impact of gentrification an influx of new residents.

That stoked fears among community members and advocates that higher property taxes could accelerate displacement of long term residents. But until now, residents didn’t know how much their taxes could actually go up by.

How bills could change

Here are a few examples of how tax bills could change under the combined proposed rates for the city and county. To calculate the tax bill for a property under the proposed rates, multiply the new value by 0.00965.

  • Nearly 20 homes on Heflin Street in Grier Heights saw their property values more than double, according to an Observer analysis. The value of one property on the street nearly tripled. Under the current tax rate, that homeowner pays $467 on the home’s previous value of $35,600. But under the proposed tax rate, the tax bill on the home now valued at more than $96,300 would jump to $929.

  • Less than a mile away, in Cherry, the change was even more pronounced. There, 18 properties saw their value quadruple. On Baldwin Street alone, several properties had their values increase from $48,000 to at least $285,000. That means those homeowners will see their yearly tax bill jump from $629 to $2,750 under the proposed rate.

  • Still, some residents who saw smaller increases in their property values won’t see much change in their tax bills. Several houses on McArthur Avenue in Druid Hills increased from $100,000 to $140,000, data show. But the property taxes on those homes would increase from $1,311 to $1,351 under the new rate.

  • In some cases, residents could pay less in property taxes even if their values increased. A property on Carmine Street off of Statesville Avenue northwest of uptown saw an increase from $80,500 to just $88,000. That would result in a lower tax bill, from $1,055 to $849 under the proposed rate.

  • About 30 percent of property owners in Foxcroft — an affluent neighborhood off Randolph Road — will pay less under the proposed new rates. Likewise, about 30 percent of property owners near West Boulevard and Old Steel Creek Road will pay less, a Charlotte Observer analysis found. Household median income there is about $25,000 — half of the county’s average.

The proposed rate change also affects commercial properties. For example:

  • A property in Elizabeth at the corner of Pecan Avenue and East 7th Street, home to businesses like Anntony’s Caribbean Cafe and Sunflour Baking Company, saw its value double, from $2.4 million to $4.8 million. That would mean a tax increase from $31,464 to $46,320.

  • The value of Noda Brewing’s property on North Tryon Street more than doubled to $2 million. Its taxes would go from $11,700 to more than $20,000.

  • And the EpiCentre’s value increased from $13 million to $32 million — an increase of nearly 250 percent. That means the tax bill would jump from $170,430 to $308,800.

Property owners have until May 20 to file a formal appeal with the Board of Equalization and Review. Appeal forms are available at www.meckreval.com.

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Danielle Chemtob covers economic growth and development for the Observer. She’s a 2018 graduate of the journalism school at UNC-Chapel Hill and a California transplant.
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