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Despite hard economic times Chatham Commissioners approve tax increase

Posted Saturday, July 10, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC - On June 21, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners approved an $84,401,967 general fund county budget for 2010-11. The board approved a tax rate of 62.19 cents, which is a 1.97 cent increase. The tax impact on a home valued at $200,000 is $39 per year.

The approved budget retains the proposed 6% increase in school operations, but reduces the appropriation for non-school county operations, other than personnel, by 4.4%. Almost 1.8 cents of the 1.97-cent property tax increase is needed to open a new middle school and to cover other school funding needs.

The board approved a tax rate of 62.19 cents, which is a 1.97 cent increase.

As part of the budget, the commissioners added two priority programs in the Health Department, funded by reallocating existing funds. One would address the county’s increasing health problems related to childhood obesity and the second would help prevent toxic levels of lead in children.

Besides the middle school, other facilities opening in 2010-11 include the Chatham Community Library at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) in Pittsboro, a CCCC classroom building in Siler City, a CCCC classroom building in Pittsboro, as well as Northeast Park, Northwest Park and a park at Briar Chapel.

The county’s revenue stream has been most impacted by the statewide drop in sale tax revenues and motor vehicle property tax revenues. “This is an issue impacting all counties and most of the nation,” said Renee Paschal, assistant county manager.

Revenues from motor vehicle taxes are expected to decline another 6.9% from the current budget year because people are keeping vehicles longer and their values are dropping. Sales taxes are projected to increase 1% to 1.5% next budget year, Paschal said, but this is well below the 5% average over the past 10 years.

As part of the annual budget process, the commissioners approve tax rates for each of the 12 fire districts in the county. The board approved tax rate increases for nine of the fire districts to make up for current year revenue shortfalls and to cover increased expenses related to vehicles, equipment, leases, utilities, firefighter positions or supplies. The commissioners also approved tax decreases for Northview and Hope districts and no change for Parkwood.

The approved budget also includes a small increase in the sewer rates for a small county-operated wastewater system serving the Bynum area and Perry Harrison School.

 
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Despite hard economic times Chatham Commissioners approve tax increase
 
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