Amended budget could see property tax increases


Correction: The original version of this article stated the vote to approve the proposed budget amendment was 4-1, the vote was actually 3-2 with Commissioners David Delaney and Franklin Gomez Flores dissenting. The article has been updated to reflect this information. The News + Record apologizes for this error. 

PITTSBORO — Two cents may not sound like a groundbreaking amount of money. But, according to the Chatham County Board of Commissioners, it’s enough to increase the salaries of county employees, add new services and assist with staffing challenges. 

At the board’s meeting Monday night at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Pittsboro, Assistant County Manager Bryan Thompson presented an amended proposed budget.  

The amendments to the budget included a two-cent ad valorem tax increase from 66.5 cents to 68.5 cents per $100 of property evaluation.  

This is a difficult decision in complicated times — but absolutely essential,” said Chatham Board of Commissioners Chairperson Karen Howard. Taking this step is something that the Board felt it could directly impact to ensure that the County can keep these individuals and continue to provide exceptional services to our flourishing community.”   

Under the proposed increase to 68.5 cents, a Chatham County resident with a home value of $300,000 would see an annual increase of $60 in their property tax bill. For a resident with a home value of $600,000, the proposed increase would lead to a $120 increase in their property tax bill. 

Home Value


66.5 cents/$100


68.5 cents/$100

$ Increase

















According to a statement from the county, the tax increase will allow the County to keep the allotted 7% pay increase for employee pay raises, while also providing an additional $4,400 pay increase for each employee. Like the proposed 7% increase, the additional $4,400 pay increase is available to all permanent employees who meet or exceed expectations according to their annual review. The $4,400 amount will be prorated based on full-time equivalency. 

The amended budget also adds a full-time Elections Systems Technician position to the Chatham County Board of Elections, which was a request of the elections board during budget public hearings in May.  

The new budget proposes a total budget of $180.3 million, an increase from the initial proposal of $177.4 million.  

 The amendments were agreed upon by three of five commissioners. David Delaney and Franklin Gomez Flores, however, disagreed with the amendments because the new budget did not fund the full request of the Chatham County Board of Elections.  

In a budget public hearing in May, members of the elections board sought a pay increase and funding for the new elections technician position. The proposed amended budget only funds the new position, not the salary increase. Delaney said he would not approve a budget without the salary increase for the elections staff. Gomez Flores also voted no on the proposed amendments.

Elections board members said a salary increase is needed to keep elections fair and efficient in the county. They said without adequate pay for elections staff, the BOE will struggle to recruit and retain hires.  

Commissioners Dasher, Howard and Kenlan commissioners, however, disagreed with Delaney’s assessment of the funding. They argued that if the elections office saw a salary increase, departments across the county on a similar employment structure would also have to see an increased salary. 

It’s not our place to decide the budgets of individual departments,” Howard said.  

Delaney argued, however, that there is statewide statutory authority for the board of elections to oversee hiring, which is unique to this department. If Delaney and the BOE’s request was fulfilled, it would cost the county just more than $20,000 for the single department request. If the pay scale were adjusted for all departments at the same rate, however, it would cost the county an estimated $1.95 million. 

Commissioners also sought additional amendments to the new proposal including an exploration of how an increase to the salaries of the County Manager, Register of Deeds, Sheriff’s Office, and the Board of Commissioners would impact the county. 

These amendments will be taken into consideration, and a new proposed budget will be presented before the expected final vote on the budget at the June 20 meeting. State law requires the Board to approve the budget no later than June 30. 


Commissioners heard an update from White & Smith LLC, the consultants on the Plan Moncure small area plan. The team shared data from community surveys and meetings and explained their processes for scenario planning. 

Our role is to empower others to make more informed decisions about their future,” said Matt Noonkester, a consultant who led the scenario planning research for Moncure. Every scenario we laid out is a series of tradeoffs and none of them are the golden ticket.”  

No action was taken on this item. The Plan Moncure team expects to plan further community meetings in August, with preliminary approvals of various aspects of the plan occurring throughout the summer. For more information visit 

 The next scheduled Chatham Board of Commissioners meeting is at 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 20, at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center. The regular session will begin at 6 p.m. 

Chatham County Commissioners, county budget, Chatham Board of Elections, David Delaney


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