State of Mecklenburg County comes with good news, bad news - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

State of Mecklenburg County comes with good news, bad news

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For the first time in four years, residents in Mecklenburg County will get a State of the County update. It's a mixed bag of news. 

Commissioner Trevor Fuller, Chair of the Board of County Commissioners, says "we want to provide for the community for what we're doing, where we've been, and where we're going."  

Fuller says "there are some positive signs for us after some difficult times, some turmoil. I think we're beginning to turn the corner."  

But there are also some major concerns – like the concentration of poverty -  in Mecklenburg County, especially Charlotte.  

Fuller is scheduled to deliver the speech Thursday morning at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center.  

In an interview with WBTV – previewing some of the major points of his speech – Commissioner Fuller says "we have our eyes clearly set on where we need to go, that we have identified some steps that will get us there, and we're taking those steps to take us to a more positive place for Mecklenburg County." 

The good news: 

Commissioner Fuller says "our revenue picture is looking much better than we thought it would be."

The County's Finance Department says so far this fiscal year the county has collected more than $805M tax revenue...including property and sales taxes, vehicle tag and tax, and fees for services.  

By July, that revenue is expected to top $1.34B.  

The 2011 Revaluation – when some property owners received hefty tax bills because of their land was overvalued – had commissioners worried. How much would the corrections cost the county? 

"What we're finding is the picture is not as negative as we thought it would be" says Commissioner Fuller. "We expected the changes in property values would be more stark that they have turned out to be." 

According to Fuller, the growth of the economy and the growth of the housing market "has shown in the value of property so that the current property values are higher than they were in 2011 and so even as we're correcting for values from 2011 we still have growth in property values. So that the net effect of making those changes from 2011 revaluation has turned out to be a little less than we thought it would be."  

Fuller adds the county still has reserve funds in the general fund balance to provide refunds for those property values that were off and that were corrected.  

In a couple of weeks, commissioners and county officials will start to address the fiscal year 2015 budget.  

Fuller says he does not expect Mecklenburg County residents will face another property tax hike. However, he's not ready to say if there will be a rollback of taxes.  

It's not just revenue has a bright outlook. 

"We have created over 11,000 new jobs in Mecklenburg County in the last year which is 2% more than the year before" says Commissioner Fuller. 

Some bad news: 

As the county focuses on bringing jobs to the area, Fuller says "we need to address in the field of economic development - we have heard the business community tell us – there are some inefficiencies with the way we conduct code enforcement, permitting and inspections."  Fuller says the department is well run, but there are needs that the county is not meeting. 

The troubling news: 

"The biggest concern we have is the condition of poverty in this county" says Commissioner Fuller. "We have the worst concentration of poverty in the state. These are simply unacceptable conditions in the face of all the prosperity that we're experiencing in our county. For us to allow this intractable poverty to exist – we just cannot allow this any longer."  

Fuller says during his speech he will give details about the steps he would like the county to take to address poverty.

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