Both Lee County and Sanford city government have proposed 2 cent property tax decreases for the upcoming fiscal year.
Under the budget proposed by Sanford City Manager Hal Hegwer on Tuesday night, the city’s property tax rate would go from 62 cents to 60 cents per $100 of valuation, while Lee County Manager John Crumpton’s budget proposal calls for a rate of 77.5 cents per $100, down from 79.5 cents.
Additionally, the city’s proposed budget would mean property owners in the city’s downtown municipal service district pay a rate of 9.2 cents per $100 of valuation, down from the current rate of 11 cents.
The property tax decreases should come as welcome news following the 2019 revaluation, which showed property values increasing nearly across the board at varying rates.
There are some fee increases in the city’s budget proposal, however. The proposal calls for an increase of $45 in the city’s sanitation fee ($270 total), and three percent increases in water and sewer rates. Sources tell the Rant the water and sewer fee increases would mean an increase of 70 to 80 cents per month (per service) for the average customer.
Both budget proposals – the city’s calling for $56.4 million in total spending and the county’s calling for just over $77 million – would give their respective employees a 2 percent cost of living pay increase.
Neither budget has been adopted yet. The city has scheduled a budget workshop for May 28, and the county held a similar meeting on May 13.
State law requires cities and counties to adopt budgets prior to July 1.
The median property tax (also known as real estate tax) in Lee County is $1,183.00 per year, based on a median home value of $127,800.00 and a median effective property tax rate of 0.93% of property value.
Lee County collects relatively high property taxes, and is ranked in the top half of all counties in the United States by property tax collections. Of the one-hundred–no counties in North Carolina, Lee County is ranked 16th by median property taxes, and 19th by median tax as percentage of home value.
Lee County’s higher property taxes are partially due to property values, as the median home value in Lee County is $127,800.00. For comparison, the state-wide median property value is $155,500.00