Union County’s recent property revaluation lowered the county’s property-tax base by nearly $1 billion dollars, from $20.96 billion to $19.99 billion, according to information provided by County Finance Director Jeffrey Yates.
That 4.64 percent decline will mean higher tax rates if the county wants to generate the same amount of revenue to meet budget needs.
Yates presented his findings – and revenue-neutral recommendations for increasing taxes – to commissioners during a work session earlier this month. The meeting was an information-gathering session in preparation for the county’s budgeting process, and no action was taken.
Yates recommended increasing the tax rates designated for schools to .4674 cents per $100 valuation, and for county operations to .3145 cents. The combined total of .7819 represents an increase of .0205 per $100 valuation from the current rate – or about $61.50 more for a home valued at $300,000.
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Union County’s current rate is .3064 cents for county services and .4550 cents for schools, for a total of .7614 per $100 valuation.
Commissioners approved a 15.4 percent tax increase last year in a move they said was needed to cover school expenses.
Despite the proposed tax increases, some property owners could end up paying less. The 2015 revaluation reduced the tax values for 69 percent of the parcels categorized as residential and 91 percent of those labeled agricultural.
The reason for the drop was the dramatic decrease in property market values since 2008, when the last valuation occurred, Yates said. Many large, vacant land parcels saw decreases of 70 percent or more, according to online tax records.
Yates attributed much of the decrease in value to land speculation before the real-estate market declined. He also said school redistricting may have played a part in some neighborhoods.
As part of his presentation, Yates provided information about the changes in tax values in the county’s municipalities.
The only municipality that saw an increase in property values overall was Stallings, where property totals rose .44 percent.
The largest decrease was in Hemby Bridge, which saw an 11.48 percent decline overall. Mineral Springs declined 9.94 percent, Fairview 7.11 percent, Wesley Chapel 6.49 percent and Weddington 5.72 percent.
Yates also recommended a countywide fire tax rate of .0440 cents per $100 valuation.
Municipalities or fire districts within the county that want to provide a higher level of service than the county offers can charge an additional tax to property owners in their districts, as currently done.
Jane Duckwall is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jane? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The chart shows how the recent revaluation impacted taxable property values in Union County towns. The numbers do not include motor vehicle and personal property values.
Change in Valuation