It took just a few days for the NC Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) to lick their wounds on their resounding defeat of higher taxes at the polls Tuesday and start their post-election spin and veiled threats.
According to the News & Observer, the Association is now threatening higher property taxes due to the defeat of the land transfer tax.
Without a 0.4 percent "transfer tax" to help defray the costs of
growth, commissioners in most counties — including Johnston and
Chatham — probably will have to rely more on raising property taxes,
said Todd McGee, spokesman for the N.C. Association of County
This is going to be their standard talking points to threaten property owners with for the next year.
The mission for the rest of us is to question the need for additional taxes and we need to make the following points loud and clear.
1. Under the Medicaid swap that gave the counties the authority to put the transfer or sales tax on the ballot, each county was guaranteed an additional $500,000 in revenue per year.
2. Are counties spending their existing sources of revenues effectively or are they squandering resources on economic incentives and other wasteful spending items?
3. The argument that they need more revenues for "growth" is a bunch of baloney. In high-growth counties, county budgets are still growing faster than population growth plus inflation. In many other counties, population growth is basically flat or is negative, so obviously they don’t need more revenue options to "defray the costs of growth."
Anti-tax forces didn’t win the war on Tuesday, the battle has just begun.