The split in the Town of Carrboro’s residential/commercial property tax burden is unsustainable. In the FY2019-20 budget, the town estimates that 90% of its property tax revenues will come from the residential side, and only 10% from the commercial side. By comparison, the Town of Chapel Hill is closer to an 80/20 split while the Town of Hillsborough is a more balanced 70/30 split. The town must explore ways to broaden its commercial tax base, while easing the oppressive tax burden on homeowners and renters.

  • Build more downtown commercial office space and work with LAUNCH, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, and Orange County Economic Development to identify potential tenants.

  • Invest in more employees for the Town’s Planning Department, to ensure staffing is in place for a quicker, more predictable development process.

  • Advocate for incubators, business accelerators, makerspace, work-live and other shared space arrangements for biotech and renewable energy companies, designers and printers, or companies taking advantage of nearby art and agricultural connections.

  • Raise awareness about Orange County’s Small Business Loan Program, which during the last 6 years has approved just 12 loans, only 1 of which was awarded to a Carrboro business (the only Carrboro business to apply).

  • Simplify the application process for the town’s revolving loan fund and give preference to businesses locating downtown, paying a living wage, and being green.

  • Adopt the Carrboro Business Alliance’s position of no net loss of parking from the downtown library project.

  • Develop a more comprehensive parking plan that includes dynamic pricing, parking enforcement, public-private pooling of spaces, consolidation of surface lots, a payment-in-lieu option for current off-street parking requirement for local merchants, and an app such as Parkmobile to more easily identify open parking spaces.