Kings Mtn vs. Cleveland County – A One-Sided Relationship

For all administrative purposes, Kings Mountain plays a pivotal role in the County’s ecosystem.  As its second largest population center, Kings Mountain contributes to the County’s statistics, reporting frameworks, and qualifies for state funding as an integral part of Cleveland County.

But… does Cleveland County reciprocate this relationship with Kings Mountain? Is it a two-way street?  Or a mutually beneficial relationship?  Or does the County continually take, take, take from the residents of Kings Mountain without offering much in return?

One doesn’t have to look far to see representatives from the County once again asking Kings Mountain residents for more … this time, our votes.  As the County Commissioner election approaches, we have been inundated with campaign signs for a variety of Commissioner candidates.  Many are incumbents who only show up in Kings Mountain when they are back on the ballot. 

They litter our community with signs, pander for votes, and ride in our parades – but where are they the rest of their terms? Are they doing anything for Kings Mountain? Or just taking our tax dollars without providing any services in return?

Recently, our City Manager posted a video asking the County these questions.  They take a full share of property taxes from residents of Kings Mountain, but they do virtually nothing in return.

Police and Fire?  Paid for by Kings Mountain residents.

911 Services? Paid for by Kings Mountain residents.

Library? Paid for by Kings Mountain residents.

Senior Center and Services?  Paid for by Kings Mountain residents.

Roads?  Paid for by NCDOT and … you guessed it … Kings Mountain residents.

In fact, the rate and amount that Kings Mountain residents pay to the County in property taxes (not even including the separate school district tax – which we’d all agree is warranted and needed) is higher than what we pay to the City.  The County is getting more of our tax dollars than the City.

For every $100 of assessed value on your home, the county gets 54.75 cents.  The City only gets 48 cents.  Why?

Cleveland County has no offices or services in Kings Mountain, the second largest population center in the county.  No presence whatsoever.  They stay on their side of the creek and cross it when they need our votes. 

Yet, they have acted to cut Kings Mountain out of County dealings with the casino, taking all of the occupancy taxes via in-lieu-of payments.  Any sharing with Kings Mountain? None whatsoever.

Adding insult to injury, some of the current Cleveland County Commissioners come to town and place their signs wherever they want – without property owners’ permission.  That sense of entitlement, of doing and taking whatever they want in Kings Mountain, shines through in their campaigning.

When they ask for your vote, ask them a question… what have they done for Kings Mountain?  What are we getting from the County for our tax dollars?

There is precedent for addressing situations exactly like this.  It’s called a tax differential.  Where residents of municipalities who do not receive County services receive a reduced, offset county tax rate to make up for these lack of services.  Or at worse, the County remits a large sum of money back to the City to make up for it.  Maybe that is the answer here.  

It would certainly help alleviate the need for another City tax increase in the future.  Lower the County tax burden on KM residents and ensure that Kings Mountain is getting more.  Simple solution. Almost as simple as asking permission before putting up campaign signs…

We have heard that some talks between the County and the City have started, and we commend that.  We’ve also heard that they’re going well.  They’re very early, considering they were propelled by our City Manager’s recent video explaining the tax situation.  And we know that all of the problems that Kings Mountain does – and should – have with the County can’t be solved overnight. After all, this one-sided relationship has been occurring for decades.  It’s our hope that the County Commissioners will continue to cross the creek and have these earnest and important talks – and not just in an election year when they find themselves over here asking for our votes anyway. 

2 responses to “Kings Mtn vs. Cleveland County – A One-Sided Relationship

  1. To the author, please call me or email me so we can discuss. Some of these facts are not accurate and I’d like to share the other side.

    Cell is 704.470.5378

  2. Kevin Gordon
    It might be beneficial to answer publicly to this “rant”, that way the citizens would have a better understanding of what you as a person and as a politician.

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