FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Fayetteville city officials are racing against the clock to create a balanced budget.
The city expects to lose an estimated $9 million in two years because of an upcoming change in how Cumberland County will collect taxes.
Cumberland County's plan to change from collecting taxes based on an area's population size to instead collecting taxes based on property values is a big issue for Fayetteville. As the largest city in the county with more than 200,000 people, Fayetteville stands to lose the most money.
"The population size is a direct factor in how much these figures are calculated and when you look at the other municipalities in Cumberland County, they don't have the size and bulk that Fayetteville does. So their earnings will be decreased much less in their area compared to Fayetteville," said Loren Bymer, the marketing and communications director for the City of Fayetteville.
In the smaller town of Hope Mills, the mayor said this shift could ultimately work out in their favor because its real estate market is growing.
"In two years, what we're foreseeing to happen in Hope Mills is we have got so much commercial development, so much property, so many homes are being built. I just believe -- and I'm being very optimistic, but I just believe what you're going to see in Hope Mills is we'll have that increase in revenue..." said Mayor Jackie Warner.
Officials noted they've been having discussions about amending the tax agreement for about 20 years. However, recent, urgent expenses pushed county officials to make the change.
"DSS, law enforcement, health department, all the things that we have to do, mental health and all of that, that money needs to be in our budget..." said Glenn Adams, the vice chairman of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners.
Fayetteville officials are expected to resume budget talks in a special meeting Wednesday.