Asheboro budget won’t increase property tax

Water and sewer rates to go up

ASHEBORO — The Asheboro City Council has been presented a budget that doesn’t recommend a property tax increase.

At the board’s June meeting, the 2024-25 annual operating budget was set to total $71.5 million. That keeps the tax rate even at $0.71 per $100 valuation.

A large portion of the budget — just under $22 million — is set aside for public safety, with Asheboro police getting a $13 million allocation and firefighters nearly $8 million. The budget also includes a 2.5% cost-of-living increase for city employees, funding to implement seven new employees and about $28 million for personnel.

“A budget is a checkbook, but it’s also a policy document where you lay out your tax rate and what you think the money should be spent for,” city manager John Ogburn said. “Along with your zoning ordinance, your city code and your strategic plan, these are the major ways the council speaks to the public.”

Despite no change in the property tax rate, the council has, however, proposed implementing a 2% rate increase for water and sewer effective July 1 as well as additional minimal increases in the future to help fund upcoming needed maintenance to the water and sewer infrastructure system.

Finance director Deborah Reaves said Asheboro has one of the lowest rate structures in central North Carolina, something that has presented challenges when applying for low-interest loans from the state.

The state won’t qualify Asheboro for those loans due to the city’s perceived inability to sustain new debt services because of the low rates. In addition, the city is losing approximately $203,000 in revenue due to the annexation of the North Carolina Zoo, which changes its rate structure from the outside of the city limits rate to the inside city limits rate.

In addition, the board approved implementing a 25 mph speed limit in the Olde Towne Village subdivision and a resolution to petition Randolph County for a portion of its special intensity allocations.

“Under state law, council has the ability to grant special approval for projects that meet certain criteria,” community development director Trevor Nuttall said. “We are nearing the limit of what we can do within our jurisdiction and have approached the county about a potential arrangement that is allowed by state law that would grant us a portion of its jurisdictions so that we can continue to have an availability to consider economic development projects or other types of needed projects within those watershed areas.”

The Asheboro City Council will meet July 11.

By Ryan Henkel