The John Locke Foundation in Raleigh reports that the City of Burlington’s tax burden continues to be one of the lowest in the state. Annually, The Center for Local Innovation (a special project of the John Locke Foundation) issues a report, By The Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties, ranking North Carolina counties by “combined local tax & fee burden” and “combined property tax burden.”
Policy analysts Michael Lowrey authored the study, which used the most recent data available from the State Treasurer, the Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis to construct rankings of local government cost on a per-person basis — as well as, for counties, a share-of-income basis. The City is ranked 25 out of 29. Out of 29 cities with at least 25,000 residents Charlotte, Wilmington, Asheville, Durham, Chapel Hill, Hickory, and Greensboro rounded out the top seven in combined costs per person. The lowest per-capita collections were in Jacksonville, followed by Thomasville, Kannapolis, Goldsboro, and Burlington. Military factors in two of the above are obvious reasons for their low tax burdens. This report is based on 2004-2005 budget figures. The report states that services ranging from garbage pick-up to recreation programs to a senior center make government more expensive, but are often things that people want. The City of Burlington provides these services while maintaining a low tax burden. The City of Burlington has the only full-time fire department in the County. Services should be compared to what the tax rate is. The amount of money that you spend on taxes should balance out the services that are being provided.