New CountyTax Values Must Account for Lower Property Values Around PotentialAirport Sites
The reckless airport siting process driven by UNC and its legislative allies has already negatively affected the economy of OrangeCounty.
UNC commissioned a study that was completed in 2005 by Talbert & Bright, one of the most reputable airport siting firms in the country. The study identified numerous potential airport sites in rural OrangeCounty.It is common knowledge throughout the affected areas that an airport could be located at one of the designated sites.
UNC has repeatedly stated its commitment to siting an airport in OrangeCounty. In an interview published in the Chapel Hill News on Oct. 15, 2008, UNC Chancellor Thorp said, “We're excited about the possibility of having an airport that would service the university and our region. I want to proceed forward with formation of the authority.”
Realtors have an ethical and professional obligation to divulge the fact that an airport could potentially be located near a property. In fact, the proliferation of citizen awareness, the No Airport signs dotting the landscape, and the media coverage of the issue have effectively revealed the situation anyway.Studies have shown that proximity to an airport will lower property values. One study determined that the average devaluation is about 27%.
Southwest Orange property owner Miriam Lieberman lives adjacent to the proposed Site H and says, “It is very distressing to think that the value of my nest egg is going down as my taxes go up because UNC is playing god with our community.” In order for the tax revaluation to be fair, the unavoidable reality of lowered property values around these potential airport sites must be factored into the new tax values of affected property. We are calling on OrangeCounty to treat its citizens with fairness and ensure that they are paying taxes based on the current real value of their property. This will require analysis of the devaluation of property values caused by UNC’s clumsy machinations to site an airport in rural OrangeCounty.In addition to being an issue of fiscal fairness for local taxpayers, this may also have unfortunate implications for the overall county economy. We encourage our elected officials at all levels of government to work for us by using all available means to conclude this damaging airport siting process and accept Talbert & Bright’s recommendation that RDU is the best location to replace HoraceWilliamsAirport general aviation traffic. This well-supported result would spare us from ongoing fiscal, social, and political trauma as well as providing high quality aviation support services for AHEC and the private pilots who utilize Horace Williams.