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Cornelius News

Proposed budget, tax rate unveiled tonight

May 20. Town Manager Andrew Grant is expected to unveil the proposed 2019-2020 town budget tonight at the Town Board meeting. The budget proposal, which could result in a revenue increase for the town, is the main item on the agenda.


Property owners in Cornelius have been anxiously awaiting the details of the spending plan which will determine how much they will be paying in town property taxes in the upcoming fiscal year. Although town taxes represent less than a third of the total property tax bill—the remainder being county taxes—significant increases in tax values mean that many owners will pay more in taxes.

The county has received some 25,000 appeals of 2019 property revaluations. Today is the last day to file an appeal on the county valuation.

Higher valuations don’t automatically mean higher taxes: The rate can be adjusted down to “revenue neutral,” or a little above or even a little below.

The wild card of course is the tax rate ultimately adopted by the town board. In most municipalities which have already released their budgets, including the county, the higher values have permitted fiscal officials to propose a lower tax rate than the current rate.

The current town tax rate is 25.5 cents per $100 of tax value, which equates to about $630 in municipal taxes on a home valued at $250,000. It is one of the lowest town tax rates for a town our size in the state.

The budget presentation is two weeks later than usual, largely the result of an “unacceptable” draft budget originally submitted by Electricities, which provides electricity for part of the town, as well as a delay in getting transportation figures from the NCDOT.

Following the Town Manager’s presentation, the board is expected to open a public hearing on the proposed budget, which is likely to be continued on Monday June 3. The approximately 85-page document will be available on the Town’s website Tuesday, May 21st.

A printed copy will also be available in the Town Clerk’s office and Finance Department starting on Tuesday May 21.

Monday evenings’ meeting begins at 7 pm in Town Hall on Catawba Avenue.