County collects $44.8 million budget surplus

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County officials say they have more cash for the next budget year - almost $50 million more - than they thought they would, and they attribute several reasons.

Foremost, they point to property taxes. The 2011 revaluation caused rates to soar, but so did complaints.  A total of 10,075 property owners appealed their revaluations.  However, fewer than even the county expected won those appeals over the course of the year.  Just under 4,000 property owners won decreases.

Of the $44.8 million surplus, $27 million can be attributed to property tax funds the county just wasn't anticipating.  So how did officials get the rest of the extra money? They say the pace of the recovery surprised them.

Mecklenburg's Tax Assessor tells us more people are shopping, so the county collected more with sales tax than it expected. He also said there's been a solid uptick in construction, more buying and selling of business equipment, more registered vehicles.  Officials were even surprised by the continued population growth.  Mecklenburg's tax base grew more than forecasted.