Many Greensboro property owners said that the 30 percent increase in property taxes in the 2022-2023 budget was too high.

Judging from one item on the work session for the Thursday, March 17, it appears some folks at city hall would agree.

The item on the agenda is listed as “Homeowner Assistance Program.”  But the assistance in this case is giving low income homeowners a break on their city property tax bill.

According to a draft of the presentation the purpose is to:

“Provide financial assistance for eligible very low income homeowners facing increased ownership costs.”

“Focus on the increased City tax bills subsequent to the 2022 revaluation (effective in FY 22-23).”

After revaluation, the City Council chose not to reduce the taxes to the revenue neutral rate and the tax rate set in the budget was equivalent to an 8.69 property tax rate increase.  The city budget for 2022-2023 of $688 million was an increase from the 2021-2022 budget of nearly $70 million.

The result of that massive increase, according to the Housing and Neighborhood Development Department, is that some very low income homeowners can’t afford to pay their current property taxes.

The program would essentially allow homeowners who qualify to pay the same tax bill they paid in 2021 in 2022.  So for those that qualify the city would continue to charge them property taxes as if there had not been an average of a 30 percent tax hike in 2022.

Guilford County also had a massive tax increase in 2022, but this plan would not assist homeowners with their county tax bill.

To qualify, the total household gross income for a one-person household would have to be no more than $41,000.  For households of two persons or more the total gross household income would have to be $47,000 or below.

The program is only for primary residences.  The homeowner can’t have liens, assessments or delinquent taxes owed to the city of Greensboro and they must have at least five years of continuous home ownership.