Residents Break Down County Budget

More than a dozen Cabarrus County residents recently dedicated a full day to learning about the County’s tax rate, economic development and growth management as attendees of Gov 101: FY23 Budget Breakdown. The class, held by the County, uses interactive presentations and conversations to explore the recommended FY 2023 budget, which covers County operations from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. The goal of Gov 101: FY23 Budget Breakdown is to help residents better understand fundamentals of the County’s budget. According to class surveys, it works.

Concord resident Jim Snell was a first-time Budget Breakdown attendee. “They answered all of my questions—it could not have been any better,” Snell said. “It was informal, informative and well developed. I’m impressed with our County staff and all they are doing.” Cabarrus County Communications and Outreach Director Kasia Thompson held the first Budget Breakdown in June of 2016.

“Residents have a genuine interest in learning how their tax dollars are allocated, but the size and complexity of our budget can be intimidating,” Thompson said. It takes the County eight months to develop the recommended budget. The 200-page document was presented at the May Board of Commissioners meeting. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for June 6 and a vote is scheduled for June 20. The Board is required to adopt a budget by June 30.

“We want residents to have clarity so they can provide commissioners with feedback ahead of the vote,” Thompson said. “An interactive day seemed like the best way to do that. As participants become more familiar with the budget, they ask questions and give honest opinions that we take into consideration. It gives them a voice in the process.”

At Gov 101, residents meet with the budget team, department heads, leadership and commissioners. Presentations include an overview of the County’s budgeting process, information on highlights of the recommended budget, special presentations and tours.

“By the end of the day, we’ve formed a relationship—everyone walks away with a better understanding,” Thompson said. “Anytime you can personalize the work of the County or the needs of our community, good will come from it.”

In addition to Snell, other Gov 101: FY23 Budget Breakdown class participants included: Robert Anderson, Crystal Anderson, Sabrina Berry, Daniel Conklin, John Ebert, Martin Ericson, Michelle Joshua, Karen Magness, Chris Measmer, Doug Paris, Jim Quick and Stewart Wilkins.

About the County’s recommended FY23 Budget

The recommended budget maintains the property tax rate of 74 cents per $100 of assessed value, for a total Operating Budget of just under $318 million. With that tax rate, owners of a $217,000 house (the median single-family assessed home value in Cabarrus), would pay $1,606 a year in County property tax.

The largest expenditure supported by the County is education/school debt, which will receive a 4.84% increase that brings the total funding to nearly $136.5 million. County expenditures increasing significantly over the previous year include non-education debt service (20.31% increase), public safety (15.25% increase) and general government (15.13% increase). The recommended budget focuses on three key areas the County will need to support in order to keep up with rapid growth: personnel, education and capital (building) projects.

For more information on the budget, visit cabarruscounty.us and type “FY23 Budget Information” in the search bar. The page hosts the complete Gov 101: FY23 Budget Breakdown packet, as well as videos, news releases, documents and timelines related to the FY23 budget process.

Public hearing on the budget

The County will hold a public hearing on the budget this Monday (June 6) at 5:30 p.m. in the meeting chambers of the Government Center. Members of the public have up to three minutes to provide comments on the budget. Participants are asked to follow the County’s Participation Policy guidelines, available for review at the meeting and on cabarruscounty.us.

About Gov 101

Gov 101 originally launched as a 10-week course that covered a variety of government-related topics. Organizers later decided to make it a one-day session around hot topics to help draw interest and accommodate schedules. Under the new format, presentations come from the County and partner organizations. The day is filled with interactive group exercises and other activities. Past events have included breakdowns of economic development, recycling, public safety, construction and quality of life. The series is open to all Cabarrus County residents 18 and older.

The next session, which will take place in late summer, will cover land preservation and the wise use of natural resources in Cabarrus County. To learn more about Gov 101, email outreach@cabarruscounty.us or call 704-920-2266.

Author: Mike Jackson