Orange County considers tax increase

CHAPEL HILL — The Orange County manager recommended a $188.3 million budget tonight that would increase the county property tax rate 9.2 percent.

The budget, which the county commissioners could revise in the coming weeks, would raise the tax rate 8.8 cents to nearly $1.04 per $100 of assessed property value.

The budget also would raise the special district tax in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district 2.65 cents to 23 cents per $100 valuation.

“The county’s revenue outlook has deteriorated since last year,” County Manager Laura Blackmon said in her budget message.

Property taxes make up 70 percent of the county’s general fund revenue. But with a sluggish economy, the county projects an anemic 2.3 percent increase in property values. And even that growth will be lost to slowing consumer spending and a change in how the state pays for Medicaid, Blackmon said.

If the proposed budget is approved, the owner of a home assessed at $200,000 would pay $2,076 in county property taxes next year, a $176 increase.

The owner of a $200,000 home in the city schools district would pay $460 in school taxes, a $53 increase.