County manager’s proposed tax rate is 58 cents per $100 valuation; higher than estimated revenue neutral rate
Published 12:10 am Wednesday, May 17, 2023
SALISBURY — The new recommended tax rate for Rowan County is 58 cents per $100 valuation, a reduction of 7.75 cents compared to the current tax rate of 65.75 cents.
The highly anticipated announcement was made by County Manager Aaron Church during his presentation of the proposed county budget for fiscal year 2023-2024 at the Rowan County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night.
The revenue-neutral tax rate is estimated to be 52.59 cents per $100. This rate was what some county residents wanted to see after receiving their tax revaluations earlier this year, in which many homeowners are seeing a large increase in their property taxes. The county also had a 44.96 percent increase in real property values.
Even though the proposed tax rate has decreased by almost 8 cents, most residents would still see an increase in how much they have to pay in property taxes.
Prior to the revaluation and under the current tax rate of 65.75 cents per $100 valuation, a resident would have to pay close to $1,650 in property taxes per year on a house worth $250,000. But after the revaluation, that same house would be worth just above $362,000 and even with the proposed tax rate decreased to 58 cents, the resident’s property tax would still jump up $2,100, an increase of $450 or almost 28 percent.
The commissioners will have the final say on setting the tax rate, which is something they have to do by July 1. A public hearing is set for the June 19 commissioners meeting at 6 p.m., where residents can speak in favor of or against the recommended tax rate.
Overall, the county’s projected tax base has increased by $4.6 billion, rising from $14.2 billion in 2023 to $18.8 billion in 2024. This is an increase of almost 32 percent.
The proposed budget’s general fund for next year is a little over $198 million, an increase of $10.5 million over last year’s budget of $188 million. The general fund is the county’s principal fund for basic services such as police and fire departments, parks and recreation, social services and other departments.
Other highlights of the budget include a 1.68 percent increase in funds for Rowan-Salisbury Schools. Last year, the county provided $47.7 million in school funding; this year, the schools would have $48.4 million at their disposal.
The proposed budget also recommends spending $3 million on 36 vehicles for the county: four for emergency services, two for inspections, one for animal services, 14 for Rowan Transit Services and 15 for the Sheriff’s Office.
Adding 102 new positions in the county has also been requested by department directors, at a cost of $4.1 million. But only nine new positions are included in the budget proposal, including a project manager who would oversee various capital projects, as well as make sure all of the county’s buildings are ADA-accessible, something the county is striving to complete since performing an ADA self-evaluation and transition plan last year that showed the county is behind.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note the county has requested 102 new positions, not recommended them with the proposed budget.