During the last 7 years, many a newcomer have settled in Union County, a 32% increase in population between 2005 and the 2000 census. People are attracted here by the excellent school system, thousands escaping the CMS fiasco, others by the ‘Mayberry’ quality of life, still others by the low taxes.
In fact, you couldn’t go house-hunting without seeing prominent signs advertising low taxes and Union Schools displayed in entrances of new subdivisions. Just about every western county real-estate sales brochure advertised Weddington schools — even those developments outside the school district.
Union County’s current ad valorem property tax rate is .637 cents per $100 of valuationwhich will increase steadily at least 17 cents (more like 20¢) over the next 4 years, solely to pay for school construction necessitated by last 7-10 years of unmanaged growth.
In the face of all the bad news about rising taxes and needed school construction, what better time than now to discuss property tax as government funding mechanism?
A ‘Scribe reader referred the following article, which may provoke your interest.
Carolina Journal Online: Probing the Propriety of the Property Tax
Nothing stirs the average citizen in North Carolina quite like a discussion on property taxes. They are enigmatic, confusing, illogical, and bizarre. The rates in our state range from $1.10 in Scotland County to 26 cents in Dare County.
There is no tax equatable to all, but placing the largest burden on one segment of citizenry is certainly the most unfair. Escalating property tax on seniors with fixed incomes contributes to rush of property sales, especially those who live in areas where developers go door to door waving money — driving the engine of development.
Many newcomers came from states like New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Massachusetts which have some of the highest and most oppressive property tax rates anywhere. Paying Union County taxes in comparison seems like a discount, but without proper land and growth management, the cost of infrastructure alone will burden the county with such a debt load that people will be forced flee again, perhaps attracted to better managed neighboring counties.
At least those who can afford to leave.