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Cornelius News

Town budget discussions get under way post-revaluation

Photo by Jason Benavides

Jan. 18. By Dave Vieser. One year after a startling county-wide property revaluation, planning for Cornelius’ fiscal year 2025 budget is swinging into high gear. The spending plan, which must be approved by June 30 of this year, will be the first major project to be tackled by a five-member Town Board with three new members.


Meanwhile, the board’s long-time fiscal hawk, Dave Gilroy, has retired.

Town staff have already pulled together information to draft spending plans for each department, which will be discussed in detail at several upcoming meetings to help determine how much property taxes you will pay.

Budget drives property taxes

Property owners in Cornelius support the town’s spending plan—the budget—with their tax dollars. The town tax comprises about a third of the total property tax bill, with the remainder being Mecklenburg County.

The town’s property tax rate for the current fiscal year budget of $31.787 million is .232 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Adding county taxes, Cornelius home owners whose property is assessed at $400,000 are paying approximately $3,400 combined county/town property taxes a year. If your house is valued at $200,000 divide the tax levy by two; if it’s valued at $800,000 multiply by two and so on.

It’s anyone’s guess what the new tax rate will be although rising expenses, including transitioning the Cornelius Lemley Volunteer Fire Dept. to a full-time paid model, will no doubt be a factor as staff and electeds crunch the numbers.

Next up

• February Town Board meeting: At the Feb. 5 Town Board Meeting there will be an agenda item to formally provide an opportunity for citizens to provide comments related to the budget to the Town Board and Town Staff.

• Budget workshop: The Cornelius Town Board will conduct a special all-day meeting Thursday Feb. 8 at the Cain Center for the Arts to discuss planning for the new budget which starts July 1 of this year and ends June 30, 2025.

• Budget retreat: The mayor and Board of Commissioners will hold a budget retreat March 26-27 at the Graylyn International Conference Center in Winston-Salem. The retreat which returns to Graylyn after a multi-year absence, allows the mayor, commissioners and key staffers to take a deep dive into the details of municipal spending.

• Citizen Survey: The survey continues through the end of February. The town is asking residents to outline their preferences and priorities for the Fiscal Year 2025 budget via email. To participate, go to: https://polco.us/n/res/profile/cornelius-nc

Town board and budget meetings are open to the public. In addition, email comments can be sent to the board or town staff at any time.