The city council of High Point’s 2024-25 Proposed Budget includes a 6.9% increase in property tax revenue.

The first paragraph of the Proposed Budget (page MM-1) states “The $518M budget is balanced” and “increases the property tax rate 3.0 cents to 64.75 cents per $100 of property value.”

On page MM-8, Sources and Use of Funds, the Proposed Budget shows a 6.9% Property Tax revenue increase that totals $5,444,840.

On page MM-9, Tax Rate and Collections, the proposed Budget states “The value of one cent in the tax rate will produce approximately $1.36 million of revenue.”

In an email to each council member, I suggested a 1.25% decrease in every line item expense.  That would save $6,475,000.  This would eliminate the need for a 6.9% increase in property tax revenue.

The city can do everything in the Proposed Budget by reducing expenses by this meager reduction in expenses. There is absolutely no department or project that will fail because their funding was reduced by 1.25%.  This is what every family does when faced with a tight budget. No vendor is going to refuse to sell vehicles, supplies, chemicals,  products or service to High Point because the city wanted a price that is 1.25% cheaper.

One council member asked about the Fund Balance (savings account) and its current balance of $14,125,091. Where is that money being held and what interest rate is it earning? An unwritten and not required accounting benchmark is for the city to have 8% to 10% of its budget in its Fund Balance. Some accountants recommend a 25% Fund Balance. Apparently, the Proposed Budget is trying to meet the 25% recommendation in one year with a 100.9% increase of $14,249,286.  (Page MM-3)  It would be wiser to put $5 million or $6 million into the Balance Fund each year for several years to reach that 25% benchmark.  Doing this would also eliminate the need for a 6.9% increase in property tax revenue.

Both of these 2 options eliminate the need for a property tax increase.  Reduce all expenses by 1.25% or reduce the 100%, $14,249,286 increase in the Fund Balance.  If the council does both, the property tax rate can be reduced by 3 cents.  THAT would really drive more investment in High Point and SAVE YOU MONEY.

Voice your concerns about the budget and the property tax increase the council is considering.

Ken Orms

High Point, NC