Property Taxes

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Scott L
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Property Taxes

Postby Scott L » Wed May 06, 2015 1:21 pm

There is never a shortage of opinion as to if our town is doing enough and doing it the best way. The problem is that perspectives vary and therefore so do the opinions. So in this thread, I hope to compare what Mt. Holly does for its citizens compared to other towns.

For example, here are the tax rates for all towns in Gaston County. The way to read this is Belmont property taxes are 10% less than Mt. Holly's taxes. Stanley is 2% higher than Mt. Holly's taxes.

BELMONT 90%
BESSEMER CITY 81%
CHERRYVILLE 87%
CRAMERTON 90%
DALLAS 72%
GASTONIA 100%
HIGH SHOALS 77%
KINGS MOUNTAIN 75%
LOWELL 81%
MCADENVILLE 57%
MOUNT HOLLY 100%
RANLO 70%
STANLEY 102%

Based on how much the town takes from property owners and the services the town provides its citizens, what are the opinions as to how well the government of Mt. Holly does? Does Mt. Holly provide 10% better city services to its citizens than Belmont? (Since we charge 10% more in property taxes)

Source: http://www.dornc.com/publications/propertyrates.html
  

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Scott L
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Re: Property Taxes

Postby Scott L » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:26 am

I'll start with my opinion... I moved here from Charlotte where I had a more expensive home and therefore paid more property taxes. I paid $4,600 in property taxes/year -- impossible to split city vs. county. When I looked around, I couldn't find $4,600 in value in exchange for what I paid. The CMS school system spends (wastes) my tax money for a public relations department that tell me how great they are -- and my actual experience was that they weren't that great. My city services were adequate -- but nothing to write home about. And the big, expensive things that the city spent (light rail, NASCAR, whitewater, Time Warner Arena, etc.) were all things far away that I never used -- but was forced to fund.

I moved to Mt. Holly. I pay about $2,800 in property taxes/year -- Just over $1,000 to the city and the rest to the county. I've homeschooled for the past 2 years so I have no opinion of the schools yet. (Will try this out this year.) Here's where there is a difference compared to Charlotte: In Charlotte, the trash truck drove by every week and dumped your garbage. Whatever flew out of the truck, well, go out and pick that up when you pick up your can. In Mt. Holly, the trash truck comes by. Not long afterwards you see a crew of town workers picking up litter. Lastly, a street sweeper comes by. That's a "quality service" -- something to write home about!

The same thing can be said for any town service. Have you seen a problem in a particular place with speeding? Let the police know and they take notice. Have you ever seen an accident in MH? There is real coordination and teamwork with people who obviously know how to work together to get through it. Ever go down to city hall to make a public records request? They will greet you at the front door and see to it you get your information. How about renting a park shelter? When you arrive, you'll find everything neat and tidy with trash cans and posted rules and reservations. If you have some kind of frustration and you KNOW that you've been through the proper process and are not satisfied with any town government problem, MH's city manager would gladly reach out to you. I know all this from first hand experiences. I mean this town is white-glove service with competent people providing it. You don't find that in Charlotte. My opinion is that Charlotte has less qualified or maybe less caring city employees that hide behind a government process. Do I get $1,000 worth of services from the taxes that I pay? When I compare to my actual experience in Charlotte, I am satisfied when I gladly write my tax check to Mount Holly.

But admittedly, my comparison might be big town vs. small town. From someone else, I'd like to hear about small town vs. small town.
  

Bob Duckworth

Re: Property Taxes

Postby Bob Duckworth » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:44 am

Charlotte actually has lower tax rates than Mt. Holly ($1.2844/$100 verses $1.40/$100 in MH) although property values may be higher on similar properties (depending on neighborhood) so you still pay the same or more. As to the trash pick up though, I have to disagree.

First off, it depends on where you live. For instance, the truck that picks up debris (limbs, boxes, etc.) runs in our neighborhood before the garbage truck. So if something falls out, it's there for a resident to pick up.

Second, I've lived in my current house since 1983. I've seen the street sweeper come down this street probably 5 times in 32 years. And I don't really want to see it as, to me, that is a complete waste of money and resources. What good does sweeping up dust do? And that's 99.99% of what it's picking up. A man in a pick up riding around could get the same amount of small litter in half the time at a far lower cost that that piece of equipment that probably costs over $100k to purchase plus the salary of the driver who could get paid the same thing to drive the pick up which would cost $25k.
  

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Scott L
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Re: Property Taxes

Postby Scott L » Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:47 am

You might be right about the sweeper. Living on N. Main, there are always nuts and bolts in the gutter with all kinds of litter. When I'm home, I try to pick it up daily.

But do you have the opinion that the taxes you pay give you a "good deal"? (Water, sewer, services, etc.) There are bills in the state legislature that consider how people get de-annexed if/when they think they are not getting a good deal.

"AN ACT TO REMOVE CERTAIN DESCRIBED PROPERTY FROM THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE TOWN OF MAGGIE VALLEY."
http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2015/Bill ... H131v1.pdf
Maggie Valley is starting to discuss how much they would charge the people being removed from the town for city water/sewer - for example. The people being removed from the town then have to consider if they buy more expensive water/sewer or build a well and septic tank.

"Driggs, who has served on council since 2013, argued the area that would become Providence (after deannexation) would be better served remaining part of Charlotte."
http://thecharlotteweekly.com/news/2015 ... nnexation/

We have some "out there" neighborhoods like Stonewater and what's out Sandy Ford Rd. -- which wouldn't be annexable into the town using today's rules for annexation.
  

rgwiazdzinski
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Re: Property Taxes

Postby rgwiazdzinski » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:38 pm

interesting post comparing the cities taxes, do you know how we compare to other cities in other fees charged i.e. trash collection, storm water, extra sales taxes? i have seen the street sweeper come through our neighborhood a few times in 15 years and i have also seen the weedeater crew edging all the streets in our neighborhood which to me is a huge waste of tax dollars, individual homeowners should be responsible for that in my opinion.
  

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Scott L
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Re: Property Taxes

Postby Scott L » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:29 pm

Brilliant idea. Service fees should be compared. It might take a while to dig that up or feel free to contribute any pieces you have on that.

I think Councilman Gowan also mentioned that property values should also be considered. So in a city of a population of 2 and both homes valued $100k, if the City Manager has a salary of $10,000, each home would have to pay 5% property tax or $5,000 each. If the homes were only worth $50k, then each home would have to pay a 10% property tax. -- for the same City Manager.

So when people have an opinion about if their taxes are too high, they should qualify their opinion: "compared to what?" The best way to do that I think is compare the tax rate weighted with the average property value. I think. I'll have to think about this a little more to get a more meaningful analysis.
  

rgwiazdzinski
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Re: Property Taxes

Postby rgwiazdzinski » Wed Aug 12, 2015 4:42 pm

i found this fee schedule on the mount holly website, it is from 2014 http://www.mtholly.us/uploads/feeschedule13-14.pdf all i can say is holy fees batman, never realized there were so many.
here is the one for Belmont http://www.cityofbelmont.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=DwcNv0FzrZc%3d&tabid=130 i see no reference to recycling or trash or storm water fees listed but once again there are a lot of fees

a couple of things that i found to compare
mount holly belmont
driveway cuts 25 73
white goods removal 25 40
copies .20ea .10ea

i know that is only a small look at it, but it seems like we may charge less for each service which most residents will never use and instead charge everyone montlhy on the water bill to make up the shortfall. i would rather pay a higher fee onetime to have an extra service, than to pay monthly for something i won't use
  

Gatewood@att.net
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Re: Property Taxes

Postby Gatewood@att.net » Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:03 pm

Expressing my 2 cents worth on taxes, I personally do not think that we get our money's worth here in Mt. Holly and I will not waste everyone's time whining and crying about it. What's wrong with our governmental system in general is that there seems to almost be a contest with municipalities regarding tax dollars for them to find a way to waste money. If there is ever a surplus, there is a foot race to find a way to spend the dollars, even if the surplus is just on paper. Example, why in the world did the City of Mt. Holly feel the need to purchase and spend millions on their current offices? If a citizen wants to rent the hall, the price is obscene. Our tax dollars go to purchase and remodel municipal property then when citizens want to use the facility we have to pay again. Kinda like a toll road.
  

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Scott L
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Re: Property Taxes

Postby Scott L » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:54 am

So if I understand your dissatisfaction with taxes, it's that government in general does not use tax dollars wisely?

If I give you that point for the sake of argument, I'd be interested in hearing your opinion if you get a better deal or worse deal than the taxpayers in surrounding towns. In other words, who around us does a better job or gives better results for what taxpayers pay and what are they doing that we might want to adopt for ourselves?
  

Gatewood@att.net
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Re: Property Taxes

Postby Gatewood@att.net » Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:08 pm

I have not done research specific to individual municipal services that would compare Mt. Holly to say Mecklenburg County because, IMHO all of these municipalities are out of control when it comes to using tax dollars efficently. In many, if not all cases, you have individuals making business decisions to spend millions of tax dollars and those same people have little to none experience in business. Funny how no matter was the tax rate goes to, it will never ever go down.
  

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Scott L
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Re: Property Taxes

Postby Scott L » Thu Sep 03, 2015 1:58 pm

Well, at least with the tax RATE, Mt. Holly seems to have had only one change in the last 10 years. It went down 1.8% between 2007 and 2008. Frankly, I was surprised it was so stable. Especially when our population has changed so much in the last 10 years.

http://www.gastongov.com/docs/default-s ... f?sfvrsn=2
  


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