Rocky Mount Property Tax Rate Increase? – With property values declining, city should put event center on hold

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Nash County property owners will see tax values of their property reduced between $10,000 to $15,000 for every $100,000 worth of property while those in Rocky Mount could experience losses between $20,000 and $25,000 per $100,000 in value. Anyone who has sold or purchased property in our area can confirm the tax values mimic the market values.

This result has dire consequences to individuals who often leverage home values to purchase large ticket items such as cars, pay for education or plan to sell their property to fund retirement. Depending upon your location within Nash County you could experience investment losses 10% to 25% in your investment.

The Community Council has expressed concerns regarding the revaluation for two years. Our January 11, 2014 letter to the editor stated, “The next revaluation for ad valorem tax (property tax) will begin in three years and based on sales ratios the City of Rocky Mount will most likely see a substantial reduction in its total assessed value leading to a drop in property tax collections. This item should be a real concern for all citizens of Rocky Mount as this and the utility rates are the only sources of revenue controlled locally.”  In a February 8, 2014 Rocky Mount Telegram article we expressed concerns that property taxes would increase and utility revenues will be diverted to pay for the event center.

Rocky Mount is comprised of both Nash and Edgecombe Counties which accounts for $3 billion in real property taxes. The Nash County side of Rocky Mount represents about $2.5 billion (83.5%) of the total assessed real property value before revaluation.  If projections hold true for Edgecombe County as Nash County then Rocky Mount could see assessed property values reduced by $770 million which translates into a loss of $3.5 million in property tax revenue.

To fund the “proposed” Event Center, aka Downtown Community Facility, Rocky Mount currently predicts tax rates will have to increase by 9.1%. If the Rocky Mount City Council, Mayor and Manager continue to proceed with the Event Center and decide to remain revenue neutral property tax rates will increase in a few short years by 28.2%.  Rocky Mount’s property tax rate would become the highest of the 20 largest cities in North Carolina.

The Community Council challenges Rocky Mount elected officials to do the right thing and put the very expensive Event Center (Downtown Community Facility) on hold until we resolve our very serious revenue problem. We further challenge leaders to show compassion to the citizens of Rocky Mount by moving beyond the status quo and reduce expenses.

Lige Daughtridge

The Community Council

Letter to Editor published in the January 20, 2016 Rocky Mount Telegram


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