Currituck County’s Operating Budget for the new fiscal year took effect on July 1, 2021. As property owners receive their tax bills and other bills from the county, they will notice that certain factors may impact monthly and annual bills.
Property Tax Rate:
Prior to adopting the operating budget, Currituck County completed a Tax Revaluation for 2021 that resulted in a countywide tax base of $7.9 billion. This represents an overall increase of approximately 20% in total property value. Following the revaluation, the Board of Commissioners lowered the property tax rate from $0.48 to $0.46. This rate keeps Currituck County as one of the 9 lowest rates of all 100 counties in North Carolina.
In the previous budget, Currituck County had a “revenue neutral” property tax rate. This meant the county collected approximately the same amount of total property taxes as it collected the year before. Based on the 2021 revaluation, the revenue neutral tax rate would equal $0.4143. But because of significant capital needs of Currituck County Schools, the tax rate was set at $0.46 to generate enough funding to meet these needs. Our schools face many pressures due to unfunded state mandates on class sizes and the consistent residential growth throughout the community. The Board of Commissioners and Board of Education have worked together to develop a plan for managing this growth.
A property tax rate of $0.46 will generate $3,650,000 more than the revenue neutral rate. From this amount, $3,642,427 will be used for the following:
- $1,292,427 for 12 additional teachers to meet new unfunded state mandates relative to class size; 10 teacher assistants; and 2.5 curriculum coaches.
- $1,600,000 put into savings for construction of new elementary school that is planned to open in August 2025.
- $750,000 put into savings to fund annual operating costs of the new elementary school.
The remaining $7,573 would be placed in the county’s General Fund.
FYI – Additional steps on the growth plan for Currituck Schools include the purchase of six mobile classroom units for the 2021-2022 school year, and expanding Moyock Elementary School and Moyock Middle School. These projects are already funded by savings the county accumulated in recent years and were not factored into the property tax rate.
Water and Sewer Utility Fees:
Currituck County had a comprehensive water and sewer rate study performed by Raftelis Financial Consultants, which was presented in March 2021. Four funds were analyzed: Mainland Water, Mainland Sewer, Ocean Sands Water and Sewer, and Southern Outer Banks Water System. This study helped the county develop a 10-year plan to ensure financial stability of each system.
Due to increasing operating expenses, maintenance costs, capital improvement needs, and system expansion, the rates will see an annual increase of 3.5% for the next 10 years for the Mainland Water, Ocean Sands Water and Sewer, and Southern Outer Banks Water System. For the Mainland Sewer system, there will be a 6% annual rate increase for the next 10 years.
The impacts to a customer’s utility bill for the fiscal year of July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022 are below (based on an average customer usage of 5,000 gallons per month):
- Mainland Water: + $1.17 per month
- Ocean Sands Water and Sewer: + $2.73 per month
- Southern Outer Banks Water System: + $1.40 per month
- Mainland Sewer: + $4.83 per month
Solid Waste Fees:
Raftelis Financial Consultants also completed a review of Currituck County’s solid waste funds for the mainland/Knotts Island and Corolla. This information was used to develop a 10-year plan to ensure financial stability.
Currituck County faces significant increases in operating expenses for the collection and disposal of solid wastes. This is not under the county’s control, as contractors which provide services have consistently raised prices. This is a national trend. To maintain current services, including the curbside collection of trash and recycling in Corolla, there will be a one-time annual rate increase of 40% for the upcoming fiscal year followed by an annual increase of 3.5% for the next 10 years.
The impact to customers for the fiscal year:
- Mainland: + $81
- Corolla: + $151
Moyock Township Watershed Improvement Service District:
The intent of the service district is to provide a comprehensive approach to storm water management in Moyock. This service district will collect a tax of $0.015 from property owners within the district to fund improvements and maintenance of nearly 90 miles of drainage ditches. This will allow for systemwide improvements and help alleviate drainage problems in underserved areas.
Detailed information has been mailed to residents and property owners within the proposed district. The plan also includes the dissolution of three current, smaller districts: Guinea Mill, Northwest, and Moyock Watershed Improvement. A map of the new district can be found here.