The most powerful Guilford County leader, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston, who almost always gets his way, told the Rhino Times this week that there’s absolutely no way he will support a property tax increase this year.

Alston said that could mean that some things some Guilford County leaders would like to see funded may not be – but he added that the county has already made a lot of progress on things like raising employee pay and increasing school funding, so he currently has no inclination to put more of a burden on property owners.

“I will not be supporting a tax increase this year,” said Alston, the true leader of the county’s Democratic Party. “The schools now have more money for operations, and $2 billion in bond money, and a lot of county property owners are paying more in taxes due to the countywide revaluation last year.”

In the fiscal 2022-2023 Guilford County budget, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners didn’t raise the tax rate. However, almost every taxpayer in the county ended up seeing a big bump in their tax bills because the valuations placed on homes in 2022 were done after a five-year hiatus and at a time when housing values were peeking.

The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is currently putting together the new 2023-2024 budget and the commissioners are holding work sessions to see what that budget should and should not include.

Alston said he’s not sure where the other commissioners are right now regarding a tax hike, but he added that they have a good understanding of the same factors he does.

The Board of Commissioners has a 6-to-3 Democratic majority and, in almost every case, the Democratic commissioners on the board vote with Alston.