Orange County Commissioners Need to Stop the Spending!

Did you know that Orange County has the highest property and sales tax rates in the State of North Carolina?  In fact, the Orange County property tax rate is 28% higher than the average of the other 99 counties’ tax rates.

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has held 10 Business Meetings and two Public Hearings so far this calendar year.  They started on January 21 with an ‘Arts’ moment in which an illegal alien high school student called the brave men and women of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service the ‘bad guys’.  Their applause was a reinforcement of their apparent support for the massive foreign criminal enterprise of illegal immigration that robs United States citizens both economically and politically.  The commissioners took an oath of office to "support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith"—they should do so by ending their support for illegal immigration.

As the year continued, the commissioners proceeded with their programs of spending and borrowing.

One of the big areas of tax dollar spending and waste is the transit program.  Even after the tens of millions of tax dollars lost on the Chapel Hill/Durham light rail project, not only has no one been held accountable but county government continues to pour money into light rail programs.  At the March 24 BOCC meeting the Board even approved a contract for $287k for another transit study.  In another sad note, at that time the commissioners were still trying to figure out how to spend the Marcoplos half-million-dollar climate tax that was loaded onto the property tax rate last year.  Clearly there was no defined necessity for this tax.

After March, the action got hot and heavy on the budget proposal for the 2020 – 2021 fiscal year which was released on May 5th by the county manager.  While the Wuhan virus put a damper on the ambitions for a $9m increase in spending and also an increase in property taxes, there was still over a million dollar increase in spending.  Between this year and the coming year the spending increase will be $15m.  The county manager has now warned of a property tax increase of 5.26 cents per hundred dollars of valuation in the next few years.  That will be on top of this year’s property taxpayers’ increased tax bill due to the government gimmick of revaluation—an increase in taxes with no revenue stream for private residences to pay for them. 

No one in county government is looking out for the taxpayers: there have been no productivity improvement programs, no cost reductions from technology investments, no effort at all to constrain spending and borrowing nor to reduce the burden on the taxpayers.  The only way to stop this bloat and excessive spending is for the taxpayers to participate in local government to defend themselves against the over 132 persons and entities that are pushing for more spending, borrowing, and taxing.

Orange County commissioners and appointed government officials have imposed the highest property and sales tax rates on our citizens and intend to raise them further.  This has to stop.

- Riley Ruske
  Orange County Citizen