The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is putting the final touches on a fiscal 2022-2023 budget deal that will shape the course of Guilford County government for the next 12 months.
Currently, two days before a final budget is expected to be approved, the existing deal would leave Guilford County’s tax rate at 73.05 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
While normally a stable tax rate would be good news for county property owners, it’s not the case this year. Since there was a 2022 revaluation of all property in the county at a time when values are skyrocketing, nearly every property owner in the county will have a much higher tax bill this year when compared to last year.
The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is still negotiating some budget matters – largely school funding – and last-minute changes can always happen; however, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said on Monday, June 13, that most of the issues had been worked out.
He also said that no tax rate decrease or increase is anticipated and he believes a majority of the Board of Commissioners will vote to a approve the new budget at the board’s Thursday, June 16 meeting.
The commissioners had scheduled a budget work session for Tuesday, June 14, however that meeting was canceled at the last minute – another indication that few to no final budget questions remain.
“We can’t afford a tax rate cut,” Alston said, “since the voters didn’t approve the sales tax increase.”
Just before the May election, the Board of Commissioners pledged to lower the tax rate – likely about 3 cents – if voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax increase.
The countywide revaluation of all land, houses and buildings is bringing in over $90 million in new money to the county despite the tax rate remaining the same, but Alston said that the county is being hit left and right with expenses such as paying back $2 billion in school bond debt, paying more to deal with the detention officer vacancy issue and a need to fund other critical programs.
Alston said that, since no additional revenue will be coming in from a sales tax increase, the county needs all of the revenue it is currently bringing in.
“Stevie Wonder can see that,” Alston said.