Since the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is soon to be dominated by Democrats – seven of the nine seats will be held by Dems – one might think that a tax increase is in the works for Guilford County when the next budget is adopted in June of 2021.
However, Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston, the longest-serving commissioner and the one who’s expected to be elected chairman, told the Rhino Times that there would be no property tax increase for Guilford County in 2021.
That’s pretty stunning because, before the Guilford County Board of Commissioners was taken over by a Republican majority in 2012, the board was run by Democrats, and, in most years, the Dems did vote for tax increases – often very large ones.
Factor into the equation the fact that county voters just approved a $300 million school bond referendum and that the Republican boards of the last eight years never increased taxes – in fact, lowered them several times – and it makes Alston’s decree even more surprising.
However, Alston, who will be pivotal to the decision-making process, said there will absolutely not be a tax increase next year. Even when he was told the Rhino Times would write an article about his promise – and was warned that the article may come back up again next summer if the Democrats approve a tax increase – Alston said that was fine because he could absolutely, positively assure the Rhino Times and county property owners that there would be no tax increase in 2021.
Alston added that he’s optimistic there could no tax rate increase needed the year after that either. He said he hopes that, in 2022, the tax rate will remain at current levels. However, he added that, that year, since it’s a revaluation year when county properties will have their value adjusted by the Guilford County Tax Department, there would be more money coming in from the same tax rate. When the Republican commissioners had a property revaluation year, they lowered the tax rate to maintain the same amount of money coming in – a move known as holding the tax rate “revenue neutral.”