Cornelius signs off on budget, cuts tax rate
by Staff Writer
CORNELIUS – Residents will get a lower tax rate, but not necessarily a smaller bill.
Commissioners adopted the budget for fiscal year 2013 during their Monday, June 18, meeting with Commissioner David Gilroy in opposition.
The $19.281 million budget remains the same as the version debated earlier this month, cutting the tax rate from 25 to 24 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
Gilroy had called for a larger tax cut, pointing out that Mecklenburg County’s property revaluations already put more money in government pockets.
“The fact is that people are writing larger checks,” Gilroy said. “You have an asset that is higher in value, so you pay more even though you get the same services. Where is the fairness in that?”
Mayor Jeff Tarte and commissioners Jeff Hare and John Bradford pointed to projects like greenways, sidewalks and an arts center that need funding.
“We have to spend money to make money,” Bradford said. “We have to invest. We have to make a business decision that hedges our bets. It’s like standing up in a hammock.”
Cornelius resident Jeff Purser asked the commission to reduce taxpayers’ burden.
“I would like to be able to continue to afford living in the best town in Mecklenburg County,” Purser said. “You’ve received a tremendous amount of extra funds. The temptation is there to spend it. Do not succumb to the temptation to spend more because we have more.”
Purser pointed out that residents and businesses are struggling, due to the recent county revaluation, as they’re paying more for the same amount of property. Prior to the revaluation, Purser said he paid $6,300 in taxes. Now his bill reaches $8,408.
Other notes from Monday
The commission designated June 18-22 as ‘Hough Tough’ Week, celebrating the multiple state and national sports titles won by athletes at the school this year.
Commissioners also adopted both the pedestrian and comprehensive master plans for the town.