Last time we checked more than 1,600 property owners had appealed their new valuations. On Saturday, the Orange County GOP, at its annual convention, passed this resolution calling on the county to rescind its revaluation. The county commissioners have asked staff to report to them on the revaluation at a future meeting.
Meanwhile, the second meeting of the citizens group Orange County Tax Revolt wil be held at 7 p.m. Monday, March 23, at the Orange High School Gym in Hillsborough.
RESOLUTION REGARDING ORANGE COUNTY PROPERTY VALUATIONS
Whereas the recent revaluation of properties in Orange County for taxation purposes has resulted in an average increase of 22 percent in assessed property values;
Whereas with the economic downturn in the housing market in Orange County the average home price is $50,000 less than January 2007 prices and the 22 percent increase in assessed values represents a large gap between the real value of properties and the assessed values;
Whereas the median household income in Orange County has not increased nearly as much 22 percent;
Whereas the Orange County tax rate of 99.8 cents per $100 is the second highest property tax rate in all of North Carolina and the rates in Orange County have resulted in 20 straight years of higher property taxes;
Whereas the County Commissioners' policy of discouraging commercial development has caused the percentage of residential tax revenues to total property tax revenues to increase from 64.6 percent of in 2002-2003 to 70.1 percent in the current fiscal year;
Whereas despite the Commissioners' spokesman's statements that a revenue neutral rate will be sought, past history points to the rate staying the same, which would result in a de facto tax increase for Orange County property owners;
Whereas state law does not require Orange County to revalue property until 2013, and other counties have set aside property revaluations; and
Whereas the Orange County Republican Party believes that after 20 years of tax increases, that the County Commissioners should be able to practice fiscal discipline and find ways to live with the revenue that the current property tax rate and valuations would raise;
Resolved the Orange County Republican Party calls upon the County Commissioners to set aside the recent tax revaluations and to use current valuations until state law mandates revaluations;
Resolved that if the Commissions do not nullify the revaluations, the Orange County Republican Party calls upon the Commissioners to establish a revenue neutral property tax rate and that a program would also be put in place to provide property owners whose tax bills do increase because of revaluation a rebate; and
Resolved that the Orange County Republican Party calls upon the Orange County Commissioners to streamline programs and expenditures, and to assess the value of all programs, in order to prevent annual property tax increases on property owners in the county.
This resolution passed in Convention, March 7, 2009.