Vote 2022: Are Wake County Bonds Affordable for Homeowners?

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Thursday, October 27, 2022
Behind the Bond: Are Wake County Bonds Affordable for Homeowners
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Many Wake County voters are considering more than parks when deciding on which bond to vote for in upcoming election.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Chavis Park could expand its footprint.

"If we can pass this park's bond, Chavis is getting an indoor pool," said Nessy Green.

Green was a former cheerleading coach at Chavis Heights. She's back, this time rooting for Raleigh's $275 million Parks Bond referendum that's on the November Ballot.

The plan includes upgrades and new projects to city parks. At Chavis, this could mean a new aquatic center.

"We have the opportunity to create what we've lost, and we get to regain a sense of community. We already know that African Americans struggle in terms of swimming and now we get to come to our park and swim," Green continued.

But the lap around the pool will cost you. The parks bond would bring a property tax increase of four-cent for every $100 of assessed value. That's about $103 a year for a median tax-valued home of $256,000.

"It's not a good time to increase tax for the property," said Khaled Eita, a Wake County Voter.

Many Wake County voters are considering more than parks. Voters are also deciding on a $530.7 Million Wake County Public School Bond. Also on the ballot, is a $353 Million D Wake Tech Workforce Forward Bond.

Both will cost on average about $34 more a year in county property taxes for a median priced home.

"To vote for all of the bonds, I feel like that might put an unneeded expense on us in the future, because we do plan on owning a home sometime soon," explained Wake County voter Fred Evans.

Mitch Kokai, Senior Political Analyst at the John Locke Foundation said the big question surrounding the three bonds, is the time, right.

"I think a lot more people are asking questions like that today than they were, say, 10 years ago, when there were no problems with inflation or higher interest rates as people are scrambling to pay their gas for their cars, to buy their groceries," explained Kokai.

He said with the uncertainty surrounding inflation and interest rates taxpayers could end up paying more.

"One of the worst things about borrowing money, with the prospect of higher interest rates down the pike is that you're going to end up paying much more for the project in the long run than you expected to when you signed off on the bond at the beginning," Kokai said.

But people like Green said it's worth the risk.

"The parks bond to me is really about our kids, our families, individuals, actually being able to get out, get some stress relief," she said.

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