Potential property tax increase on the minds of many during Greenville City Council public hearing

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The clock is ticking for the city of Greenville as there are only a few weeks left until the city council has to approve the fiscal year 2024-25 budget.

It’s a budget that’s caught the eye of several homeowners and property owners like David Edwards, who spoke before city council Monday night with serious concern.

“If the people had known what their taxes were going to be when these evaluations came out, I believe there would’ve been a riot at the tax accessors office that day,” Edwards said.

The city’s proposed budget includes a tax rate that they say is 2.69 cents higher than what revenue neutral would be for property owners.

According to city spokesperson Brock Letchworth, an average $300,000 house could see property taxes go up around $200.00.

Residents are worried about their pockets being hit hard, but some councilmembers believe this was the best option.

“I think to proceed with a revenue neutral budget under these economic conditions would be reckless because we don’t have revenue neutral cost,” said Greenville Councilwoman, Marion Blackburn. “We have an explosion of cost.”

“I wish we’d done a better job of getting out to say it’s coming, but it’s something that was just going to come because of inflation,” said Greenville Councilman, Les Robinson.

Letchworth says city council has a proposed 39.54 cent tax rate still causing property value increases, despite overall tax rate being lower than the current 48.95 cents.

While many feel that inflation played a role in this proposal within the budget, some on the council say it’s unfair for many.

“We have to lift up,” said Greenville Councilwoman, Tonya Foreman. “We can’t ignore it. We can’t hide from having the difficult conversations.”

No decision was made on the proposed budget Monday night. City council will vote on the proposed budget Thursday night.