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atlrvr

Charlotte Area Tax Rates

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I hear constantly how people choose other counties/towns that the City of Charlotte because of lower taxes, so I wanted to examine the issue.

Here are the combined tax rates for a variety of towns in the area. I excluded municipal fees for simplicity, but assume $20-$50 total per municipality.

These are the most updated rates availabe (Charlotte is the new 2005-2006 rate). Rates are per $100 of property value.

Charlotte - $1.2568

Huntersville - $1.1168

Matthews - $1.1443

Mint Hill - $1.1118

Pineville - $1.1368

Davidson - $1.1818

Cornelius - $1.0968

Weddington - $0.565

Wesley Chapel - $0.545

Waxhaw - $0.865

Concord - $0.96

Harrisburg - $.0665

Kannapolis - $1.027

Mooresville - $0.915

Rock Hill - $1.0332

Fort Mill - $0.9912

Tega Cay - $1.0552

Monroe - $1.005

Indian Trail - $0.605

Stallings - $0.775

Source: Atlrvr @ Urban Planet

Please no one reuse this withouth at least quoting Urban Planet as a source. I don't have Gaston County at the moment.

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Wow, I don't see why people are complaining. Charlotte is only just barely above the other Mecklenburg towns and not much above the other towns in the metro.

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Ok, from looking at this, it is obvious that Wesley Chapel in Union County is by far the lowest (I omitted school taxes and such, but it still by far the lowest). Now look at the comparison between there and Charlotte. A $225,000 house (now average for the Charlotte region) would cost me $2827.80 per year in Charlotte, and $1226.25 in Wesley Chapel.

Now, my house is 1.5 miles from work driving. Assuming my car gets 20 gallons per mile driving in traffic and I take 2 weeks vacation a year, I drive 750 miles per year to work and back. Assuming only $2.00 per gallon (I wish), this cost me $75 per year in gas.

Now, after Mapquest.com (ing) my work to Wesley Chapel I found it is 22 miles each direction. Assuming the same constants, I would drive 11,000 miles to work and back in a year (yikes), and my gas bill would be $1100 dollars per year.

Now adding gas to my property taxes, that $1601.55 savings is now only $576.55. Hmmm....now all that is assuming gas prices fall back to only $2.00, and does not take into account any distance I may have to run errands (which are likely less convenient in Wesley Chapel).

Now, assuming I can value my time, I know that it takes me 6-7 minutes door to door, which means I spend about 54 hours commuting in my car. Assuming I could average 45 mph to Wesley Chapel (I wish), I spend 59 minutes a day in my car, or 246 hours in my car. At minimum wage (and I get paid slightly better than minimum) I could work those hours instead of driving and make an extra $1,008 per year.

Just some food for thought.

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another factor might be tax growth. it seems to me that in towns and counties that are hit by such rapid growth end up having to rapidly improve and increase infrastructure, which leads to a higher tax over a period of years.

i somehow think the intangeable stuff like "better schools" is more of a reason for flight than pure numbers, but it is a compelling case that rational consumers might chose intown living. that is a major reason, i believe, that there is a such a major trend of urban living.

thanks for compiling the info!

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Another factor is property value increase. The values are incresing faster in Charlotte than say Weddington. In most cases that return on invest will cancel out any tax savings you receive.

Take a look at Gastonia. I think their tax rate is really close to Charlotte if not higher.

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Well that's another reason to buy now in Charlotte so you could maybe sell high later. There is no reason why I would want to move out, even if it would save me a couple pennies.

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Well its not that simple. It't not fair to compare what a what a residence costing $225,000 in the suburbs to what you can get in a close in community. $225,000 will buy you a small closet in the CBD, in the suburbs it is a spacious home. For example:

A $225,000 house in Huntersville would get you 2500 sq ft, a 2 car garage, and some land. Now if you went to Dilworth or Myers Park and found the equivalent house it would be tax apprased @ $750,000. I base this on some properties that I am familiar in the area.

Now look at the tax burden for these two equivalent homes.

Huntersville = $2512

Dilworth = $9740

The difference = $7728. That is a huge difference in tax burden and would buy 3285 gallons of regular gasoline at today's prices. Even in my gas loving Mercedes this would be enough gasoline to drive the car 65,000 miles which would take me six years to do but I would have to pay this tax every year. I have a good friend that lives on Tremont, that is being forced out of her house because of the taxes that have to be paid on it. It is a considerable amount of her income each month.

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But Charlotte on the whole has a large supply of existing housing for under $200,000. And I don't mean in areas to avoid.

So if you're just somebody that says "a house is a house" and you don't HAVE to get the latest vinyl sided crackerbox, I think the original analysis pans out.

It is kind of un underreported story that taxes have crept up in the surrounding counties. You need to be willing to live outside of ANY city, if you are determined to have have low tax.

[My parents have. They bought a house in the county, have lived in it 29 years... and are quite proud of all the city taxes they've "escaped".]

I will admit, though, that taxes can matter. I once considered investing in some land here, the asking price wasn't too obscene.... but backed off when I saw that it had a $7000 a year assessment. Decided it was for "the big boys" to mess with.

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But Charlotte on the whole has a large supply of existing housing for under $200,000. And I don't mean in areas to avoid.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Considering that Charlotte has suburbs that stretch further from downtown than where Huntersville is located I would agree with you. But that negatates the argument for paying a higher tax rate in Charlotte to avoid commuting costs.

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Maybe the moral of my story is live near your work. :)

While I tend to agree that you do get more house for your money further out (assuming quality of construction of new vs. old isn't an issue), I would have to say from a pure investment standpoint there is a large descrepency.

The average Huntersville home (not counting lake front which cost substantially more anyway) has been appreciating at about 5% for the last 4 years, whereas the average intown neighborhood has been appreciating at about 11%.

Assuming I had $45k to put down, I could put 20% down on a $225k house in Huntersville, or 6% down on the $750k Myers Park house.....now with the appreciation rates going forward for 4 more years (and I know everyone has a different opinion if the housing market will remain as strong), the Myers Park house will have added $388,500 in equity, where as my Huntersville house would be woth $273,489, or an increase of $48,489.

At this point, I may be tempted to sell the house in Myers Park, buy a house in Huntersville with cash (no more mortgage) and use that $115k left over to buy a BMW M3 and Porsche Cayenne S.

Now getting financing, and being able to float the mortgage is a different story, but my general opinion is to buy the most expensive house in a rapidly appreciating area that one can comfortably afford.

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I guess that was a bit off topic, I am curious like MZT what the long term trend is. I would assume the rate is increasing faster in most places other Charlotte, but that is purely speculation.

Does anyone who is a recent migrant to Charlotte no what the property tax rate was in their former municipality?

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Places that have low tax rates will ultimately pay anyway. Union and southern Iredell counties will have to cough up the cash sooner or later. Roads, infrastructure, schools, emergency and social services all cost money...especially when they are built on a bad suburban model of cul-de-sacs and single-point entry developments. Southern Iredell is especially prone to expensive logistical nightmares due to the limited accessibiltiy to large residential areas around a large body of water.

I do not mean to infer that everyone has to live like me. If you have the money and want to waste your time driving everywhere, by all means have at it. Just don't expect me to pay the bill for widening I-77 to 10 lanes because of YOUR choice to live on the impoundent of water for a nuclear power facility or let me hear you beotch about how bad traffic is on Providence Rd.

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I do not mean to infer that everyone has to live like me.  If you have the money and want to waste your time driving everywhere, by all means have at it.  Just don't expect me to pay the bill for widening I-77 to 10 lanes because of YOUR choice to live on the impoundent of water for a nuclear power facility or let me hear you beotch about how bad traffic is on Providence Rd.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You really should take into account the fact that many families wouldn't feel comfortable raising their young children within an urban environment. The suburbs are many times favorable to families with young children.

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refer to this

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wow. People in NC have nothing to complain about.

Another issue is that people who are moving are not thinking about the big picture. They think they can save money on taxes and buy a huge house compared to what they could in the city limits. They aren't thinking about the future resale value of their homes or the services they won't have or how much money and time they'll spend commuting.

They value saving money now over those things.

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Wow. People in NC have nothing to complain about.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Exactly; NOWHERE in NC has high taxes. In my opinion people should stay within Meck County and help build it up, instead of spreading out and contributing to the inevitable sprawl.

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Just don't expect me to pay the bill for widening I-77 to 10 lanes because of YOUR choice.....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

But that is what in fact happens and you have no choice in the matter as it is the State that makes the decision on most road matters in NC. Chalk it up to the the mindset in NC that development, any development no matter how unsustainable it is, is good for the economy of the state. You pay for it with the gas tax, income tax and part of the sales tax.

In any case, before we fault the surrounding communities for the bad development, we need to look closer to home. The city in the metro with the largest number of streets with no sidewalks, starter home communities, cul de sac development, strip malls, and develoment that can't exist without the car, is Charlotte. It has more of this than all of the surrounding towns combined.

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Maybe the moral of my story is live near your work.  :)

While I tend to agree that you do get more house for your money further out (assuming quality of construction of new vs. old isn't an issue), I would have to say from a pure investment standpoint there is a large descrepency.

The average Huntersville home (not counting lake front which cost substantially more anyway) has been appreciating at about 5% for the last 4 years, whereas the average intown neighborhood has been appreciating at about 11%.

Assuming I had $45k to put down, I could put 20% down on a $225k house in Huntersville, or 6% down on the $750k Myers Park house.....now with the appreciation rates going forward for 4 more years (and I know everyone has a different opinion if the housing market will remain as strong), the Myers Park house will have added $388,500 in equity, where as my Huntersville house would be woth $273,489, or an increase of $48,489.

At this point, I may be tempted to sell the house in Myers Park, buy a house in Huntersville with cash (no more mortgage) and use that $115k left over to buy a BMW M3 and Porsche Cayenne S.

Now getting financing, and being able to float the mortgage is a different story, but my general opinion is to buy the most expensive house in a rapidly appreciating area that one can comfortably afford.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Personally I believe we are in a real estate bubble now. I base that on the number of idiots showing up at UP wanting to know about real estate investments and flipping property (most of which you don't see)

But I will point out however that anyone that could purchase a House in Huntersville using your example is looking at a much lower payment than the one in Myers Park.

Payment (assume 30 year loan, your numbers, not counting insurance & taxes)

Huntersville - (finance $180K @ 5.75%)

$1050.43/month

Myers Park - (finance $705 @ 5.75%)

$4114.90/month

Will the Myers Park home appreciate $36K more/year for 4 years. Maybe. But since you are in the real estate business. How many people have you run into that are in the $1050/month payment range, looking at houses that will cost them $4K a month? Its not a situation that can exist in the real world.

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^ Agreed....I was simply being academic with it.....the point I was really going after was that if someone is looking at houses as an investment (and certainly some people have lifestyle preferences that outweigh any investment opportunity), then they would be best stretching their dollar in town and perhaps settling for a smaller house, or at least finding the house that best meets their needs in the greatest appreciating area they can.

This has really just been a rambling way of saying that the best way for a younger person/new home owner to build equity is to buy in highly appreciating area, even if it means they are in a smaller house/condo than they might wish for. But really this has nothing to do with tax rates.

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Now part II of this. Suppose that in 4 years interest rates rise to back to their average of about 8% over the last 25 years.

First the new value on the houses we will have the following

Huntersville - $273, 489

Myers Park - $1,138,500

This means using the same formula as above the potential purchaser will be faced with the following monthly payment for each of these houses.

Huntersville - $1,676.57

Myers Park - 8,023,72

Notice the Myers Park payment has risen a staggering 50% in the 4 years for one purchasing it at the new value. Since salaries in the USA and Mecklenburg are not rising anywhere near this rate, I would assume that one of two things is going to happen. Either the party is going to have to reduce the price of the house to sell it, or wait a very long long time for one of the very few people who can afford to pay that kind of payment.

The moral of the story, and this has been proven over and over. Housing prices can't keep rising at significantly faster rates than salaries. And if there is an interest rate rise (and there will be) it throws a considerable wrench into the works.

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Exactly; NOWHERE in NC has high taxes. In my opinion people should stay within Meck County and help build it up, instead of spreading out and contributing to the inevitable sprawl.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, people moving from those other areas think the taxes in Charlotte are nothing I'm sure, but people who have lived here forever are not used to paying so much. We got a big increase in their minds and they are looking to surrounding counties to avoid paying so much. Really the tax rates in other areas are irrelevant to someone who has always lived here.

Still, it makes me feel good that I won't have to pay 4% and I wish more people could see the big picture and not move out of Mecklenburg County.

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I do not (by any stretch) mean to say Charlotte has a history of good decisions dealing with development, but it has learned quite a bit from its mistakes. Meanwhile, most surrounding towns have not.

For instance, zoning is almost non-existent in Union. Roads are packed and there is no money (state or otherwise) to widen any of them. In Indian Trail, two-lane Old Charlotte Hwy carries 19,000 vehicles per day (VPD) south of Indian Trail Rd. The state considers any farm-to-market road carrying over 16,000 VPD as congested. Indian Trail and Union County have either approved or are issuing building permits for an additional 2,100 housing units for which Old Charlotte is the only way in or out. The town issued 870 building permits last year (up from 552 in 2003) and has, to date, already surpassed last year's single-family permit number. The state has no current plans to widen Old Charlotte or it's counterpart, John Street in Matthews.

Don't mean to cut this short, but have to go to a meeting. All I'm saying is that Union and southern Iredell are, out of all the metro counties, doomed if someone doesn't step up to the plate and provide money for infrastructure.

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another factor might be tax growth. it seems to me that in towns and counties that are hit by such rapid growth end up having to rapidly improve and increase infrastructure, which leads to a higher tax over a period of years.

i somehow think the intangeable stuff like "better schools" is more of a reason for flight than pure numbers, but it is a compelling case that rational consumers might chose intown living. that is a major reason, i believe, that there is a such a major trend of urban living.

thanks for compiling the info!

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^It was one of the more lame articles in the Observer. It completely misses the point that

  1. Tax values are lower in these counties

  2. Charlotte/Mecklenburg imposes other taxes and fees not found in these places

  3. Mecklenburg county is raising taxes and in greater amounts for exactly the same reasons stated in that article

All in all this would seem to be an article written with a pre-determined outcome and the Observer report just reported generalities to backup their conclusion. (opposite of what a good journalist should do) I will point out that article says the taxes are going to pay for medicare, schools and jails. None of this would seem to be related to bad growth, but just growth in general. In Mecklenburg county, school construction and operations take up a substantial amount of the county tax and are the reason the county had to raise taxes substantially a few years ago.

It's not yet time to blow your horn. :rolleyes:

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