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Cornelius News

Thanks to Puckett, county includes budget info with tax bills


Aug. 22. By Dave Vieser. It took several years, but Mecklenburg County is including information on how tax dollars are spent with the annual property tax bills. Previously, county tax bills only included the total tax payment due, but no explanation of where the money goes. The new bills included a small insert with that information; look for more details in the future.

“As I traveled around the county and spoke with my constituents, I found that many people had no idea where their tax dollars go,”  said  Mecklenburg County Commissioner Jim Puckett. “So I asked the county to put together a pie chart which would detail the allocation of those funds.”

Puckett said his idea was met with some resistance at first, but eventually the county came around to his point of view. “For example, over 47 percent of the tax bill goes to education services, more than the county’s services, and the people need to know that.”

The specific breakdown on county tax dollar allocation for fiscal year 2017 is as follows:

  • Education services: 47.2 percent
  • County services: 39.8 percent
  • General debt services: 13.0 percent

For Cornelius residents, in addition to the county taxes, a town tax is also collected, which amounts to approximately 23 percent of their annual property taxes.

Puckett praised Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio: “Dena has a financial background, and I believe she understands how important it is that our taxpayers understand where their tax dollars go.”

For her part, Diorio liked the idea.

“One of the greatest successes we can have in county government is a well-informed citizenry,” Diorio said. “It has been my goal since day one to promote complete transparency. The budget and tax dollar allocation information, now included in our annual tax billings is another tool to help better inform those we serve.”