MATTHEWS – Town Manager Becky Hawke provided commissioners with a preview of the proposed 2023-24 annual budget during their April 21 planning conference, which included information on how the Mecklenburg County revaluation may influence the tax rate in Matthews.
As the county assessor's office works to bring property values in line with fair market values, Matthews expects an increase of 33.6% over 2023 actual values of $5.4 billion. Factoring a 3.1% appeal loss, town staff expects the values to increase to $7.2 billion.
Matthews used a $0.295/$100 tax rate in 2023 and 2022. The town would have to reduce the tax rate to $0.2269/$100 to achieve a neutral tax rate that factors in average growth from 2019 to 2023.
But the proposed fiscal year 2023-24 general fund budget stands now at $34,922,439, which would require a $0.275/$100 tax rate.
Reducing the tax rate to $0.275/$100 tax rate would prompt a $300 annual increase (or $25.03 monthly increase) on the 2024 tax bill for the average home in Matthews, which was assessed at $414,900 in 2020.
“We do see significant needed and planned or desired expansions to operations in the FY24 budget,” Hawke told commissioners. “We do have them right now funded through a combination of increased revenues, retiring debt service and otherwise conservative funding across many of the individual budget lines.”
Some of the increasing needs included a pay plan and market adjustment, solid waste contract and landfill fees, state retirement contribution, risk management premium increase, software system upgrade, fully funding Fire Station No. 3 and fuel costs.
Some were previously approved. Others are state-mandated.
“I want to be clear. This is not a blasé proposal,” Hawke said. “We understand that these are impacts to our residents.”
Hawke said the tax rate adjustment will effectively fund operations for fiscal year 2024 and allow for sufficient funding for future years, but additional increases for paving maintenance will require future budget consideration.
Hawke will deliver a formal presentation on May 8 as numbers are still being finalized.
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