The tax rate is set annually by the Albemarle City Council. This rate is established at a level to provide all the general fund services of the City. These general fund services include things such as police, fire, parks and recreation, planing and zoning, financial management, street and right of way maintenance, and engineering services. Other services such as water and sewer, electric and the operation of the City of Albemarle Landfill are not supported by property taxes, but rather operate on the revenues generated from these services. In essence, these activities and services operate as self-supporting businesses. When considering the establishment of the appropriate tax rate to become effective each July, the City reviews all of the upcoming fiscal year’s cost of providing services and ensures that a matching amount of revenues are available to cover these expenditures. The City Council and staff must make decisions concerning the feasibility of certain services and projects in order to adopt a balanced budget as required by law.
The property tax rate for the City of Albemarle has remainder fairly consistent since the early 1960’s. As you can see below, the tax rate has been within the same range since this time. The fluctuation within this range is attributable to several factors, such as the date of the most recent revaluation, the economy and any significant changes in the services the City provides.
We are very pleased to be able to have kept our property tax rate within the same range over this extended timeframe. This consistency has allowed the amount of property taxes paid by our residents and businesses to remain constant as a percentage of the value of property. Because the total dollars paid for property taxes is based on the overall value of property, a simple comparison of tax rates does not provide a complete picture of total dollars paid in taxes. With the relatively low cost of living in Albemarle and a very competitive tax rate, residential property owners as well as business owners are able to receive the same amount of governmental services at a lower total cost than in larger, metropolitan areas.
We are very fortunate in Albemarle that the amount of property taxes paid by our residents has grown at a much slower rate than the cost of other goods and services in our society, yet we continue to be able provide a very high level of services.
Effective Tax Rate - .4866 (2009 Tax Year)
Effective Tax Rate is not a term people hear a lot about, but it is a major factor in evaluating the actual taxation and tax burden. The effective tax rate is what the tax rate could be set at to bring in the same amount of revenue if property values for taxing purposes were actually set at the 100% of the actual value of the property. For example, Stanly County for taxing purposes only values property at 87% of it actual value, meaning residents only pay taxes based on 87% of their property value. This means that based on the true value of properties in the City limits, for tax year 2009, residents only pay an equivalent tax rate of .4866. Another way of putting it is if property was taxed at its true value, the City could drop its tax rate to .4866 to bring in the same amount of money as it does with its current .56 rate.