Some question timing of decision to raise property taxes in Raleigh

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – With a view of the growing Raleigh skyline, nearby neighborhoods are changing. Older homes are being bought and torn down to make way for new ones.

The houses next to Kelvin Price are now valued at around $400,000 and $500,000. That means properties like the one he shares with a 90-year-old also go up in valuation. And with that, so do taxes.

“Financially, sometimes you have to do without, you know what I’m saying?” Price said.

On Monday, the Raleigh City Council voted to raise property taxes as part of the budget adopted for the 2022 fiscal year.

“I don’t agree with it, you know what I’m saying?” Price said. “They have to show me some kind of substantial meaning or beneficial {sic}, not just for us but for the white-collar, the blue-collar, everyday people,” Price said.

Part of the additional tax revenue will be used to pay for a voter approved affordable housing bond. UNC Charlotte real estate and urban economist Yongqiang Chu isn’t sure that’s the right approach.

“At the same time, you are putting a tremendous amount of pressure on people who already own their homes and they may be forced out. I’m not sure, at the end of the day, you are actually increasing housing affordability,” Chu said.

Chu also said municipalities and counties across the country are considering similar property tax increases due to the tax and fee revenue that was lost during the pandemic.

The Raleigh property tax rate is now 37.3 cents per $100 valuation. On a $300,00 home, the Raleigh city tax will now be $1,119, which is an increase of $53.40. When you add on Wake County’s property tax of $2,640, the total bill is $3,759 for the $300,000 home.

Home prices skyrocketed due to the pandemic and influx of major tech companies in the Triangle. Meanwhile, inventory is at an all-time low. So, why hit the homeowner’s pocketbook now?

“That’s probably not a good thing, especially for people that are very severely impacted by the pandemic, then that’s a bad thing,” Chu said.

While the increase may be hardly noticeable, to some it can be life-changing. Referring to his neighbors, Price said: “They had to move, you know what I’m saying? They couldn’t afford it because of the property taxes.”

Requests for comment from members of Raleigh City Council have not been answered. CBS 17 was told Mayor Mary Ann Baldwin had a full calendar and was unable to fulfill an interview request.

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