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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor Revenue Neutral?

Revenue Neutral?

Dear Editor,
WOW...so our town manager, who does not live in our town limits, so his actions will not affect his pocketbook, is proposing to raise our tax rate by 50%!  
Let's think about this for a moment.  While his explanation of "Revenue Neutral" may sound okay today because although the value of your property has tanked (46% loss of value in Carolina Beach), they will effectively increase the tax rate to provide for the same amount of taxes you've been paying based on a much lower valuation and a higher tax rate.  
So you're thinking, well okay at least my tax bill won't be any higher.  For now anyway.  
Think about what happens as your tax value goes back up on your property.  In essence, the town council will be providing for much higher tax base once the economy finally starts gain ground and then what happens....your property value will go up again, thus giving the town a huge increase in it's tax base.
Based on the Machinery Act, which provides for property reassessment every eight years and depending on the state of the economy, your property value will very possibly regain in value and your tax bill would increase based on the new assessment and the 50% higher tax rate.  We may need to have an increase but, 50% is very extreme. And let's be realistic, historically tax rates rarely go down once raised.  
Today, property valued at $200,000 at .26 per $1000 would owe $520.  BUT, in eight years when our property is reassessed, let's say we get that 46% value BACK, then what?
That property will then be valued at $292,000 and your taxes based on .26 per $1000 would be $759.20.  So in essence, the town council will just sit back and bide their time until they effectively get a 50% increase in our taxes!  So the point is, look at the long term and not just at  the short term, bandaid method of repairing what is broken!  
So, yes, Mr. Mayor, it is broken and before you make statements like you made in last weeks Gazette, I would suggest you really talk to residents on this island!
And also do a little more research!  
Deb LeCompte,
Carolina Beach, NC