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Cornelius News

Town budget: Property taxes look flat in new fiscal year

March 8. By Dave Yochum. It looks like the property tax rate in Cornelius will stay the same in the upcoming fiscal year which begins July 1. Town officials are concluding two all-day sessions today at the Graylyn Conference Center in Winston-Salem—the traditional start of the months-long budget setting process which results in the tax rate on which town services like police, parks and public works are based every year.

The tentative budget proposed by Town Manager Anthony Roberts calls for about $23 million in spending, up from $22.5 million in the fiscal year that ends June 30.

The tax rate was flat last year as well. Residential and commercial properties are taxed at the rate of 25.5 cents for each $100 of assessed value. Cornelius has the lowest tax rate in the county.

Higher spending—not unexpected in a high-growth town—is supported by an increase in sales and franchise tax revenue, as well an increase in the town’s assessed value.

The total assessed property value in Cornelius has risen to $5.6 billion. The total valuation was just $5 billion when the town budget was set in 2015—representing a cool $600 million in new ratables.

Numbing: Numbers + more numbers

If the budget proposal is approved, the town’s share of  taxes on a $250,000 house would remain at about $637 a year. Details within the budget will certainly change, but overall spending will likely remain level, keeping local taxes where they are now.

Investing in infrastructure helps make Cornelius desirable for residents and new business. Mayor Woody Washam said spending more is appropriate in a growing town. Improvements to infrastructure and services are driven by the citizen-driven Navigate Cornelius comprehensive master plan developed in 2012.

“We’re right on the cusp of transformational times in Cornelius,” Washam said, explaining that new parks, roads and the arts center “mean a lot to this town.”