Jacksonville homeowners are receiving their 2022 tax bills from the Onslow County Tax Office. This year’s bills reflect the results of the real estate revaluations completed this year by the County as well as the changes to the tax rates approved by both the Onslow County Board of Commissioners and the Jacksonville City Council. Revaluations are completed every 4 years. They provide the current value of real estate in Onslow County which will replace the values determined in the 2018 revaluation.
In general, residential real estate increased in value between 2018 and 2022. Your 2022 tax bill reflects the 2022 revaluation and the combined City and County property tax rates. You can find out how residential property values changed in your neighborhood by visiting the Onslow County Tax website at https://www.onslowcountync.gov/277/Revaluation
Included on the County website is a map where you can enter your address for details on revaluation, FAQs for Citizens, and a process to appeal the new tax revaluation.
Jacksonville property owners pay real estate taxes to both Onslow County and the City of Jacksonville. Changes in this year’s tax bill reflect the change in assessed value of the property as well as changes to the tax rates of both Onslow County and the City of Jacksonville.
The City’s portion of the collected property tax only provides the revenue to pay for the City’s Police and Fire services. Sanitation, Water & Sewer and other City services are funded from revenue other than property taxes. County collected taxes are used to pay for services and programs provided by the County.
Sales Tax is the second highest revenue source for the City. Sales tax is used to pay for additional services and programs and to help build and sustain economic stability for the City. The sales tax distribution formula is based on property tax revenue. The higher the property tax revenue, the greater the amount of sales tax the City receives.
Your City Council works to keep tax rates as low as possible. For the current fiscal year, FY 2022-23, they decreased the City tax rate by 4.2 cents from 64.2 to 60 cents per $100 dollars. This previous rate of 64.2 cents per $100 dollars was set in 2014, The County lowered their property tax rate as well, from 70.5 cents to 65.5 cents per $100. The City’s share of the total property tax bill is 47.81% while the County’s is 52.19%.
You can estimate your property taxes by multiplying the assessed value of your property by the tax rate (City and County combined.) Here is an estimated property tax using the 2022 tax rates for both County and City for a property valued at $100,000.00:
$.01255 ([60 cents per $100 City tax] [65.5 cents per $100 County tax]) x $100,000.00 (Property value) = $1,255.00 estimated property tax
Mayor and Council were deeply challenged to balance the FY2022-23 budget. Their goal, continue to provide services, programs and facilities to Citizens.
Cities in North Carolina are required by law to approve a balanced budget each year. The challenge for balancing the budget included finding funding for the increased cost of items like construction materials, fuel, parts to maintain existing equipment and vehicles as well as salaries to retain qualified employees.
When considering salaries for employees, City Council looked at the recent changes in the job market, which were significant. The salary gap had widened between City and other employers in the local area and coastal region. City salaries averaged on the low end, where the competition was paying mid-range for similar positions at places like Camp Lejeune and the County. As a result, City employees were leaving to take positions elsewhere.
Hardest hit in the work force was Jacksonville Public Safety, Police and Fire, where there was a major increase in employee resignations and a decrease in applicants to fill positions. The 2022 turnover rate is currently at 28-29%, compared to 21% in 2020.
The City conducts exit interviews to help determine why employees leave. They found that 53% left for better paying jobs, more benefits and career advancement opportunity, an increase of 18% since 2020. Application rates for open City positions have also gone down by 50%.
In response to workforce issues, Council approved wage adjustments for Public Safety Personnel and for positions in Public Services who were also experiencing retention difficulties. Additionally, City Council approved a 6% Cost of Living Wage Adjustment, COLA for all employees to help close the overall wage gap.
Mayor Sammy Phillips has stated that, "We want Jacksonville to thrive and to be a place of pride for all of us. Jacksonville is a great place to work, live and play and we want to keep it that way. One way to ensure this is to make sure our services to the public stay professional, strong and progressive. We need a strong workforce to do so. In this current job market we are seeing just how far we are falling short of the equitable wage mark and we are facing challenges to correct this."
City Council continues to address salary issues, and other methods that will enable the City to attract and keep a talented workforce here in Jacksonville. They are using a model for comparing wages set by the North Carolina League of Municipalities that looks at City size, location and economic health when determining fair wages for comparable job titles. The City also looks at the individual employee for experience, growth with the City and longevity.