The Town of Oak Ridge North Carolina just expanded. 

The Town Council recently approved the voluntary annexation of 62 properties whose owners had requested that their land and homes become part of the town.

Oak Ridge Town Council Member George McClellan said he believes that those who wished to be part of the town did so because it’s run by a Town Council that tries to simply be effective and efficient rather than get bogged down into a lot of partisan bickering.   

“We run our town well,” he said.

The properties became part of Oak Ridge on Thursday, July 1, when the new 2021-2022 budget went into effect.  The properties will increase the town’s tax base since the landowners when they asked to be annexed also requested a tax hike on their property, since they will be required to pay Oak Ridge property taxes.

The town’s 2020-2021 fiscal budget, which was adopted at the Tuesday, June 22 meeting of the Town Council, holds the property tax rate steady at 8 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

McClellan said that it is a little unusual for property owners to agree to commit to paying more taxes when the services from a town are admittedly limited. He said some councilmembers asked town staff that question of why the owners were so eager to be annexed.

Staff’s answer was interesting.  McLellan said the belief was that some property owners were worried that, at some point down the line, the City of Greensboro would find a way to absorb them if they weren’t part of Oak Ridge.

 “They don’t want to be part of Greensboro,” McClellan said based on staff’s response. “They’re more afraid of that.”

Becoming part of Greensboro would be a slightly higher property tax increase since Greensboro’s current tax rate is 66.25 cents or more than eight times that of Oak Ridge.