The year ahead will be one of focus and attention to detail for county government. Cumberland County Commissioners will be watching as the tax office arrives at new property values for ad valorem tax purposes. After that, commissioners will try to construct a revenue-neutral county budget for Fiscal Year 2018. That seems a long time from now but it’s a process that begins early next year.
Property owners know it as revaluation. Ad valorem values must be updated at least every eight years, if not more often. Sticker shock often results because of higher property values that come with revaluation. Some people look upon it as nothing more than a scheduled tax increase. But the new round of revaluations may be different because residential values in Cumberland County have actually gone down in recent years, according to County Commission Chairman Marshall Faircloth.
The residential tax base is less than it once was, Faircloth says. He tells Up & Coming Weekly that by the end of 2016, property values likely will have risen to normal levels so that a tax increase can be avoided.
“The commercial development we’ve had is going to save us,” Faircloth said, in reference to the tax burden. “We haven’t had a lot of residential growth and that’s a plus.”
Businesses will shoulder a larger share of the total tax base than home owners. “I’d rather have slow, managed growth,” the chairman said.
Using technology, the county can wait until late in the
year to assign what will be
the most current updated property values.
The Base Realignment and Closure Act of 2005 resulted in significant population growth at Fort Bragg. But it did not translate into a population boom in Cumberland County. Nearby counties, such as Hoke, Moore and Harnett, reaped the benefits primarily because taxes were lower. But that’s likely to change in those communities because new schools need to be built, and there are additional infrastructure needs
that require funding, as well as an increase in demand for public safety in those areas.