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FY2008 CIP Schedule Change
CMS staff presented the Board of Education's capital funding request to the Citizens Capital Budget Advisory Committee (CCBAC) on April 26. CCBAC members asked for additional information that will require more time for CMS to provide a response.
Originally, I had intended to provide the Board with both a recommended CIP for FY2008 and the County Manager's FY2008 Recommended Budget on May 15. However, the delay in receiving the Board of Education's request makes it highly unlikely that the CCBAC or the County staff analysis of CMS' request will be completed in time for the May 15 meeting.
In reconsidering the CIP schedule, it appears that June 19 will be the first reasonable opportunity to present the recommended CIP. I have asked staff to adjust the schedules to reflect the proposed June 19 date and provide an update to the Board at its next workshop.
Business Personal Property Tax Filing Deadline

As prescribed by property tax law, the Board has granted the tax assessor the authority to extend the listing period for individual businesses to file property tax listings annually with the County. N.C. General Statutes place an absolute limit on this type of extension period to the close of business April 15, unless the County provides a mechanism for businesses to file on-line. If the County makes this provision, then the period to file is extended through June 1 each year.
Last year, the Board adopted an ordinance that allowed Mecklenburg County businesses this privilege once the new tax computer software systems are completed later this year. This proactive step accommodates the greatest privilege without penalty to the businesses in Mecklenburg County.
If April 15 falls on a weekend, the deadline for the extension becomes the next regular business day. This year, the statutory deadline for extension fell on Sunday, making the last day for filing returns Monday, April 16.  Traditionally, the tax assessor has provided this listing extension through April 15 because it corresponds to the annual State and Federal income tax filing deadline. Many businesses utilize the services of a CPA or accounting professional in filing both their income tax and their property tax. The extension of time to April 15 has been welcomed by tax professionals because it simplifies their filing processes.
The Federal Government extended the income tax filing deadline until April 17 of this year because April 15 fell on Sunday, and Monday April 16 was a local holiday in Washington, D.C. The State allowed a corresponding extension of the income tax filing period in response to the move by the Federal government.
Unfortunately N.C. Property Tax law does not provide this authority for additional extension. As a result, any listing received after April 16 will be late and will incur a 10% penalty for untimely filing.
A misunderstanding often arises regarding the waiver of the filing penalties. Since property tax law provides authority to allow the receipt of late applications for tax exemptions and exclusions and because there is authority to compromise taxes resulting from a discovery, many people naturally assume the late penalty can be waived for untimely filings. However, there is no statutory power to do so. The tax assessor will assist any business, or accounting professional representing them, in understanding the limitations within property tax law regarding the extension period. He will also coordinate any appeals to the Board of Equalization and Review that may arise from this issue. 
Due to the complexity of the law regarding the property tax filing deadline, those with questions or concerns should be directed to Tax Assessor, Garrett Alexander, at (704) 336-2976. 
Responses to Questions from the April 10 Budget/Public Policy Workshop

Below are responses to questions raised at the Board's April 10 workshop. Please contact Hyong Yi at 704-336-6945 or if there are further questions.

Question 1:
What is the County's population growth relative to CMS enrollment growth?
Since 2000-2001, the County's population has been growing at an average rate of 3.2%, while CMS has seen enrollment grow by an average of 3.7%. In fact, each year since FY2002, the rate of growth for CMS enrollment has been greater than the population growth of the County.

Question 2:
What is the County's debt service trend?
The chart below shows the trend lines for general, CMS, and CPCC debt for County dollars. Both CMS and CPCC debt service has grown by 30% between FY2005 and FY2008. County debt service has increased 2% during this same period of time although there are year-to-year fluctuations in the amount of County debt service being paid.
Question 3:
How much does Mecklenburg County spend to fund CMS and CPCC television operations?
For CPCC, the 2006/2007 TV/Media Services budget is $550,999 and funded entirely from state funds. The 2007/2008 State budget has not been determined, but it will most likely be within the range of this year's budget. As a point of clarification, this budget includes all media-related services such as classroom audio/visual setup that may be required at each of the six campuses.
For CMS, the proposed figure for FY08 is $579,696 (this figure includes salaries and benefits associated with six positions specifically for television operations) and is 100% County funded. This does not include any capital costs for operating the CMS television facility.
--Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager

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