MONROE – Union County Tax Administrator Vann Harrell said he anticipates difficult discussions if officials work with Mecklenburg County on sorting out boundaries that may affect property taxes, voting districts and where children go to school.
Union County staff recommended commissioners pass a resolution Jan. 3 asking the state to work with the two counties on adopting an accurate boundary based on the state’s survey.
Both counties have known about their fuzzy boundary since the 1990s, but Harrell said they are coming up on a one-year gap between their property revaluation appraisals. Mecklenburg is doing its reval now. Union will start its next reval in 2025.
“This was the soonest window that we can get it in between the two counties,” said Harrell, who has been tax administrator since 2017.
Union County Chairman Stony Rushing thought they should wait to see how Mecklenburg County responds before taking action. Union County officials believe Mecklenburg County commissioners will discuss the issue Jan. 18.
Brian Helms and other commissioners agreed.
“I think there’s some question marks regarding school districts as well,” Helms said. “I think that’s a huge concern there. I believe that’s our best course of action.”
Union County may lose tax base
As many as 267 parcels in Union County could be partially or fully moved to Mecklenburg, Harrell said. This includes 223 residential properties, 36 commercial lots, five farms, and two government, school or church entities.
Harrell shared with commissioners this breakdown of those parcels:
• 38 parcels: Union County tax parcels that are completely in Mecklenburg County. These are parcels using Union County services and paying Union County taxes but the state survey shows them in Mecklenburg County.
• 133 parcels: Union County tax parcels where the majority of the improvement is located in Union County.
• 39 parcels: Union County tax parcels where the majority of the improvement is located in Mecklenburg County.
• 13 parcels: Union County tax parcels where the majority of the improvement is questionable as to which county holds the majority.
• 44 parcels: Union County tax parcels that are land only with no residents affected.
Harrell said Union County could lose an estimated $29.9 million in total value. That includes $8.3 million in land value and $21.6 million in improvement value.
His staff used Mecklenburg County’s publicly available data to determine there are 228 parcels affected in Mecklenburg County. This could result in a loss of $12.8 million in total value, including $3.6 million in land value and $9.2 million in improvement value.
The net effect of all this is about a $17 million loss in tax base to Union County.
Harrell also said boundary changes could affect funding for municipalities and fire districts.
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