“Don’t borrow trouble” is an old saying often taken to mean we shouldn’t worry about something before it is time to worry about it.
Some trace the saying back to Matthew 6:34: “So never worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
The concept is something those upset about the recent property reappraisal notices that were mailed last week.
It’s true the value of property has increased, but frankly, anyone who’s noticed what’s been happening to real estate sales prices in the past year or two shouldn’t be surprised.
Under North Carolina law, property across the state must be reappraised at least every eight years. The reappraisals must be based on current market value. That means the current skyrocketing prices of homes and property sales in Haywood must be reflected in the reappraisal process.
What many fail to understand is that the amount of property taxes owed on a piece of property is determined by two factors — the value of property and the tax rate established by the county commissioners.
State law also requires local governments to publish a so-called revenue-neutral tax rate. That is the tax rate that would generate approximately the same amount of money to fund local governments as was generated before the new values were established.
Local government officials aren’t bound to reduce the tax rate to the revenue-neutral level, but just having the rate published, along with a local newspaper that is the watchdog for local government, are both powerful incentives for elected leaders to pay attention to the ramifications of cashing in on a windfall without making a case on why extra money is needed.
Additionally, the Haywood County commissioners have discussed the issue at multiple meetings and given every indication they will be reducing the tax rate when this year’s budget is considered. There is no reason to not take the county commissioners at their word.
Those inside town limits also pay a separate tax to the towns of Waynesville, Canton, Clyde and Maggie Valley. While the subject hasn’t yet been discussed much at the local government meetings The Mountaineer has been covering, it will certainly come up in the next several months, and we will be there to inform you of how it shakes out.
Meanwhile, listen to the sage advice of those who have gone before us and don’t borrow trouble.