Orange County

Chapel Hill considers 11% tax rate hike

With the fate of the transfer tax not even decided, CH town manager Roger Stancil is already calling for an 11% tax rate hike for Chapel Hill. He warns that property tax rate increases of 3 to 10 cents (per $100 valuation) will not be uncommon in local jurisdictions. (And my guess is that this is a trend that will continue for the forseeable future. )

Eno Economic Development open house

From Orange County:

The Orange County Planning Department will host a public information session for residents, property owners, businesses and others interested in the Eno Economic Development District (EDD).

The EDD location is in the general area of Highway 70 and Interstate 85 near the Durham County line.

The information session will be held on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 at the Planning and Agricultural Building, 306 Revere Road in Hillsborough. The session will be held as an “open house” and those interested may drop by anytime between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.

To learn more or to see a copy of the DRAFT Eno EDD plan, visit the website,

or call Perdita Holtz, Special Projects Planner, (919) 245-2575.



Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm


Planning and Agricultural Building, 306 Revere Road, Hillsborough

Schools propose 08-09 budgets

The County Commissioners have received the proposed budgets from both school systems. According to the Chapel Hill Herald, the city schools are requesting $61.2 million, a %12.56 increase in last year's budget. The county system is requesting an %8.35 increase to $23.8, which is actually less than they asked for last year.

The county school board recognizes, "the fiscal realities of the day," said school board Chairman Ted Triebel.

"[The budget] is well-researched, fully-debated and it is lean, very lean," he said. "This new fiscal approach, this minimal budget, comes with high expectations and confidence that you, our board of county commissioners, will favorably respond to the citizens of our district and look at this responsible budget to provide the necessary opportunities for our county's youth."

- County praises school boards' budgets, 4/23/08

Final public info session on the county's comprehensive plan

FYI from from "Letters to the Editor: THE CHAPEL HILL NEWS," Sunday April 20, 2008:

"Do you live, work or own land in Orange County? Are you concerned about whether you and your children can find work here and can afford a home near your job? Do you care if farmland and natural areas are protected? Do you want your county to be a healthy, sustainable place to live?

If so, your voice needs to be heard at the final public information session of the Orange County Comprehensive Plan Update on Wednesday April 23 at 7 p.m. at the Hillsborough Exchange Clubhouse.

The Comprehensive Plan Update will determine how Orange County will develop during the next 20 years. It guides decisions for a wide range of local issues: housing, economic development, transportation, land use, environment, parks/recreation, and services/utilities. This update was begun in 2006 and will be adopted this fall.

This public input session will have an overview and time for citizen comments. Your input will be seen by the county commissioners at the May 19 public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan.

The Community Action Network and the Walkable Hillsborough Coalition are two of the nine organizations in the Orange County Comprehensive Plan Coalition. It is a diverse group of community and business organizations whose mission is to encourage public participation in this update process and encourage outcomes of economic prosperity, environmental health and social equity.

We believe that the Comprehensive Plan should be a positive document, directing appropriate commercial and residential development to designated areas and recommend ordinances and processes that encourage, reward and expedite a sustainable future.

Your voice in shaping the community's long-term future is important.

Learn about the Comprehensive Plan update at the county's dedicated Web site:

-- Dolly Hunter, Community Action Network; Holly Reid, Walkable Hillsborough Coalition


Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 3:00pm


Hillsborough Exchange Clubhouse

Transfer Tax robocall

I just got a robocall from a group calling itself "Citizens for a better Orange County" that opposes the Transfer Tax. It calls the tax the "Home Tax," which is clearly wrong on two levels. Firstly, the proposed tax is on all land sales, and secondly it is an attempt to falsely personalize this tax for local homeowners. Oh, and it fails to mention an important detail: the tax rate would be 0.4%. That's right: four tenths of a percent. That's one thousand dollars on a $250k hypothetical home. Sounds like too much money? Well, what are the alternatives? If this is defeated, the only two alternatives that have been seriously discussed are a sales tax (the most regressive tax possible) and a property tax increase. A property tax increase would be a home tax. Everything about the robocall was misleading and dishonest.

The call directs people to a website that I won't link to here. The website refers to "Tom Holt" as their treasurer and "Mark Zimmerman" as their spokesperson. A bit of googling gives:



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