We here at the School of Government are really good at pumping out 400+-page tomes that examine every possible legal detail of tax collection, zoning, public records and other topics near and dear to the hearts of local government employees.
As helpful as these treatises can be, they don’t do much at all for one important audience: elected officials. Few county commissioners or city councilpersons will have the time or interest to digest several hundred pages on one topic.
That’s when it’s time to turn to our Board Builders series. Each of these booklets offers a concise (40 pages or so) and easy-to-read (lots of charts, no footnotes!) summary of a particular local government issue. There are nine of them, covering topics such as hiring a manager, ethics codes, and revenue sources, with more in the pipeline.
The newest entry in this series covers property tax law, soup to nuts, in a quick 50 pages. The goal of the booklet is to educate local governing boards about what they must do, what they may do, and perhaps most importantly, what they cannot do with property taxes.
I’m hopeful this booklet will make your jobs easier by eliminating misconceptions about the property tax system held by many elected officials. The more elected officials know about your job, the better the chances that they’ll actually let you do that job without inappropriate interference.
But elected offiicals are not the only audience for this booklet. It will be helpful for anyone who wants to know the basics of the property tax system but has no interest in the legal minutia. City and county managers, attorneys, and finance officers would all benefit from a 30,000-foot synopsis of property tax law.
So too would many taxpayers–be they the taxpayers who seem intent on criticizing every action taken by the tax department or those more kind-hearted folks who are just curious about the process.
Click here to purchase copies The Property Tax in North Carolina.