During its June 22 meeting, Asheville City Council voted 6-1 to approve the $201.67 million operating budget for fiscal year 2021-22, which includes an effective property tax increase of 2 cents per $100 in valuation and $8.7 million in new spending. Kim Roney was the sole vote against the budget, arguing that the tax increase would harm poorer residents.
Buncombe County’s fiscal year 2021-22 budget — passed unanimously by the Board of Commissioners on June 15 — includes an effective property tax increase of 2 cents per $100 of valuation. It also includes $300,000 toward property tax relief grants.
Some additional revenue will be needed to fund a growing list of priorities for the 2021-22 annual operating budget, city staffers suggested at an April 27 Asheville City Council budget work session.
“We would end up basically having to raise taxes on everyone else to fund these rebates to businesses that we understand have had a tough year, but many of which have had a great decade ahead of this year,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Brownie Newman.
While the median sales ratio for the county overall increased by roughly 18% the rise was not evenly distributed. Urban areas such as Central Asheville and Southside generally saw larger percentage gains than did rural areas like Candler and Avery Creek.
“Anybody that follows the economy or follows the news will tell you that there’s a big elephant in the room that we can’t measure, and we’re all thinking about it, and it’s going to affect your planning,” Tom Tveidt, president of SYNEVA Economics, told Council members at their March 13 annual retreat. “That being said, I think there will be a pre-coronavirus economy and a post-coronavirus economy.”
“The Sierra Club supports the proposed 3 cents per $100 property tax increase to fund these badly needed initiatives.”
At a budget work session on March 26, city CFO Barbara Whitehorn reported that Asheville can expect to receive $2.5 million in property and sales taxes from the health system in fiscal year 2019-20 — only half of the $5 million initially estimated by the Buncombe County tax office — then $5 million instead of $8 million for every year to follow.
“This may hurt some feelings, but you can no longer operate the city of Asheville like it’s the Oprah Winfrey talk show, where you get a car and you get a car,” said Council member Keith Young, referencing the daytime TV host’s famous giveaways. “As much as we love all these programs and trying to help the public good… this is the time to close the bank.”
Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods’ Chair Amy Kemp shares her perspective on issues that had the greatest impact on the city’s neighborhoods in 2018.
Xpress takes a look at how Buncombe County commissioners set the tax rate during off-the-record phone calls and in-person meetings.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will hear budget requests from Asheville City Schools and A-B Tech during its meeting on Tuesday, May 2.
Goals and priorities emerged when the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners held its retreat on Friday, Feb. 17. Among priorities are continuing to increase teacher pay while looking at expanding access to preschool across the county.
The Buncombe County tax department finished its preliminary property tax reappraisal for 2017 and it shows, before appeals have been filed and settled, that the county’s 2017 property tax base is approximately $31.5 billion. That’s an increase of $6.8 billion from the last assessment in 2012.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved economic incentives, a resolution urging the federal government to designate Big Ivy as wilderness and set a public hearing for the proposed tax schedule during its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
City Council will hear public input on a proposed $74 million bond referendum at its Aug. 9 meeting — but all Council can do in response to those comments is vote for or against including each of the three bond categories on the general election ballot in November. The deadline to adjust the total borrowing amount in each category was July 26.
The Governance Committee of City Council voted on Monday, June 13 to move forward with exploring a potential city bond referendum that would appear on November’s general election ballot.
Another issue that put the commissioners’ divide on display was a resolution concerning the creation of a Utility Energy Innovation Task Force. The venture is a partnership with Duke Energy and the City of Asheville aimed at, “working to delay or avoid the construction of an additional fossil fuel powered combustion turbine electricity generating facility at the Asheville Plant site in 2023.”
Addressing North Carolina House Bill 2 and consideration of property tax revaluation are among topics the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will discuss during its meeting on Tuesday, April 5.
County Commissioners deadlocked on a request from tax director Gary Roberts to reappraise county real estate in 2017. With Commissioner Ellen Frost absent, the board members voted 3-3 along party lines, delaying for at least a few weeks a decision on whether the county will voluntarily undertake a reappraisal before the state Department of Revenue forces its hand.