Gaston County Commissioners Lower Property Tax Rate
Gaston County commissioners passed a $361 million budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, with a decrease in the property tax rate.
Commissioners voted 5-2 to decrease the property tax rate from 83 cents per $100 of assessed value to 81 cents per $100 of assessed value, a 2-cent decrease.
Commissioners Bob Hovis and Kim Johnson voted against decreasing the property tax.
Commissioners Allen Fraley, Tracy Philbeck and Tom Keigher wanted to reduce the property tax by 3.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, but the other commissioners — Ronnie Worley, Bob Hovis, Chad Brown and Kim Johnson, voted against it.
Philbeck said that while this year people might pay less in taxes, after the revaluation next year people will still have higher bills. He said property value is projected to rise as much as 30%.
"They will have drastically higher bills because the valuations are going up," he said. "I think it should have been 3.5 (cents). … We could only get agreement at 2 (cents). I'll take that. But at the end of the day, next year our citizens are going to get hammered, and they're going to be told their tax rate's cut. So to me it's like … somebody peeing down your back and telling you it's raining. That's what's going to happen during this reval."
At 83 cents per $100 of assessed value, Gaston County's tax rate is tied for the 12th highest in the state, meaning just 11 of the state's 100 counties have a higher tax rate, according to the N.C. Department of Revenue. Surrounding counties of Mecklenburg (61.69 cents), Cleveland (68.75 cents) and Lincoln (61.90 cents) all have lower tax rates, according to the state.
Reducing the tax rate to 81 cents would have Gaston County as the 17th highest in the state, tied with Martin and Warren counties. That tax rate is the lowest Gaston County will have had since 1996, the county said.
Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 704-869-1850 or at email@example.com. Support local journalism by subscribing here.