Up & Coming Weekly

June 18, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JUNE 19-25, 2019 UCW 11 NEWS Fayetteville/Cumberland County property tax rates will likely remain stable in the fore- seeable future. at is primarily because new commercial business construction is picking up much of the tab. "e increases in values from new construc- tion, renovations of existing properties and the natural growth in property values all are used to maintain a favorable tax rate," said Fayetteville City Manager Doug Hewett. City and county government officials are holding the line on ad valorem tax rates for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Data provided by the Cumberland County Tax Administration office indicates that the 2018 value of commercial property in Fayetteville increased by nearly $88 million over the year be- fore, for a total of $4.123 billion. "Large projects like Freedom Town Center and its continued expansion are a boon to both shoppers and the city alike," Hewett added. ere has also been significant business growth along the Skibo Road corridor between Cliffdale Road and Raeford Road. And Ramsey Street continues to yield economic growth. e Cumberland County Tax Administration office establishes appraised property values, also known as market value, for all taxable property within the county. Market value has been defined by the U.S. Supreme Court as the sale price of real estate as agreed upon between a willing buyer and willing seller. Real property — land and the improvements — is valued on a countywide basis by the county tax assessor every eight years. In appraising real property, the asses- sor must consider the elements set forth in North Carolina General Statutes as to land — location, zoning, soil quality, mineral deposits, adaptability for different uses, past and future income, etc. — and buildings or other improvements, including types of construction, age, replacement cost, cost and adaptability for use. Residential values also went up this past year over 2017, following property revaluation, by almost $62 million. Combined with business development, that's a $150 million increase in the taxable value of the city's commercial revenue base. "e natural growth in tax revenues and the work city council and staff do to reduce costs also help us keep the cost of government much lower than our peer cities," Hewett said. Some would argue that Fayetteville has no peer cities as such. Virtually all other metropolitan areas of North Carolina rely on big business and industry for tax revenues and employment opportunities. e local Goodyear tire plant is big, employing nearly 3,000 well-paid workers. But, it stands alone. Fayetteville cannot claim a major business, bank or industry with its home office here. As a bedroom community for Fort Bragg, Fayetteville's economy relies on the retail and service sectors, which provide stability. Activities associated with the service sector in addition to retail and wholesale sales include transportation and distribution, restaurants, clerical services, media, tourism, insurance, banking and health care. In the U.S., about 80% of the labor force is employed in this sector. e median property tax in North Carolina is $1,209 per year for a home value of $155,500. Counties in North Carolina collect an average of 0.78% of a property's assessed fair market value as property tax per year. North Carolina has one of the lowest median property tax rates in the United States, with only 14 states collecting a lower median property tax than North Carolina. Commercial property tax revenues a boon for the city by JEFF THOMPSON e Cumberland County Tax Administration office establishes appraised property values, also known as market value, for all taxable property within the county. Projects like Freedom Town Center are a boon. Fayetteville City Council has adopted its operating budget for the new fiscal year, which begins July 1. It totals almost $229.7 million, which is a 6.6% increase over the current fiscal year's budget. e property tax rate remains at 49.95 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. e FY 2020 budget includes an ad- ditional $1.5 million for the parking deck adjacent to the Prince Charles Apartments. e city had already committed $14.8 mil- lion to build the five-story garage, which is being constructed by PCH Holdings, the firm that is developing the property adja- cent to Segra Stadium. It is a public facility that has been leased in part to PCH to provide parking for the apartment building and two high-rise structures. e developer plans to build a five-story Hyatt Place Hotel and a seven-story office building atop the garage. Jordan Jones, project manager of PCH, has said previ- ously that construction costs have in- creased since the financial estimates were made. He noted the original estimate was a best guess arrived at before the projects had been fully conceived. Council members noted that the massive parking garage is literally the foundation for two buildings that will be built on top of it. e five-story parking deck is the founda- tion for what will become a 12-story struc- ture, which will make it the tallest structure in downtown. at complex is part of a larger eco- nomic development undertaking of investments worth more than $100 million, including the $40 million minor league baseball stadium and 59 one- and two- bedroom apartments in the Gathering at the Prince Charles. PCH Holdings also agreed to purchase the Festival Park Plaza office building from the city. Mayor Mitch Colvin noted that the combined projects are expected to produce more than 1,000 jobs and contribute a com- bined $126 million to the local economy. Developers have pledged to pay property taxes to the city on $45 million of tax value — even if the complex appraises for less. Colvin said he has been told the buildings should be completed in 18 months. Downtown parking deck funding approved by JEFF THOMPSON e city of Fayetteville fiscal year 2020 budget includes an additional $1.5 million for the parking deck adjacent to the Prince Charles Apartments.

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