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.