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Lake Gaston homeowners make waves over property tax rate

Posted May 29, 2009

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— Homeowners on Lake Gaston are demanding that Warren County cut its proposed budget for the coming year and lower the local property tax rate.

When the county conducted its eight-year property revaluation this year, some home values along the lake tripled. Although the Board of Commissioners plans to roll the tax rate back from 92 cents per $100 value to 61 cents, lake homeowners say that's not enough.

Lake Gaston property Warren budget could soak lakefront homeowners

"I think the lake is seen as the goose that lays the golden egg," homeowner Linda Browne said.

Browne and her neighbors complained that their property taxes would jump 20 to 40 percent under the county's draft budget, and they wanted the tax rate cut to 51 cents per $100 value. That rate would produce the same amount of revenue as the 92-cent rate did with the lower property values, they said.

The Lake Gaston Association, a homeowner's group, said a higher tax rate also would discourage businesses from locating on the North Carolina side of the lake.

"It's going to make them less competitive with the other counties," association president John Cataldo said.

Warren County officials said cutting the tax rate further could force them to furlough or lay off employees.

"The citizens would lose in the end if we were to start cutting services," County Manager Linda Worth said. "You've got to find the money from somewhere. Just do the math."

Lake Gaston homeowners contend the county could easily cut new spending in the budget, such as four additional sheriff's deputies. Worth said, however, that many county residents asked for improved law enforcement.

Commissioners are expected to set the tax rate and approve a budget next month.

"I think (this situation is) what everybody's facing now. It's not just Warren County," lake homeowner Bill Solari said. "Other counties (also) are having to do things."

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  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 29, 2009

    more socialism and populism. Obama's class warfare is going full steam ahead. Tax those that work for a living and give it to those on welfare who don't choose to work.

  • Tax Man May 29, 2009

    All the counties need to take into account what the CURRENT values of property are and cut taxes if they went down after the reappraisals. I like the way they do it in CA - the county can only raise taxes 2% per year and only if they show the values went up by more than 2%. That protects homeowners from getting taxed to death when the value of the homes goes up but their income does not go up as well. Also, seniors and fixed income folks don't get killed by the county taxes so long as they own the home the taxes are fixed based on the original purchase price.

  • seeingthru May 29, 2009

    lol, if you can afford lakefront property you can darn sure pay the taxes on it, what are you poormouth? I have a trailer you can rent cheap if you like, it's not on a lake tho.......