• People choosing to leave Mecklenburg for neighboring counties

    By: Allison Latos


    MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. - Mecklenburg County officials are planning for the future -- from bringing in jobs to making the area safer.

    Eyewitness News read over the commission's 39-page strategic agenda and found a fact that Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour calls concerning.

    The statistics show that previously, more people moved into Mecklenburg County but in 2010, more people moved out to neighboring counties.

    Those people have higher than average paychecks and are taking the cash across county lines.

    "The people moving into town are less well off and affluent than the people moving out of town," said Ridenhour. "So, what's happening is, in order to meet the growing need for social services here in Mecklenburg County, we are going to have to continually increase taxes."

    Channel 9 has been following this issue for months.

    A 9 investigation in May 2013 revealed the primary reason some residents move is high property taxes.

    "Everybody is trying make more money and save more money for their own futures," said resident Rovelo Turcios.

    The county plans to study the tax rate through community surveys between now and next summer.

    "Charlotte is a beautiful city and Mecklenburg County is phenomenal," said resident Disean Burns. "To have something like we have here and to have it grow, it does take money."

    Bringing jobs is another big goal.

    Officials want to re-assess grant programs, and Ridenhour is researching an idea called enterprise zones.

    Those areas would provide lower taxes if businesses agree to stay for a certain number of years.

    The county is aiming to push the 7.1 percent unemployment rate down to just 5 percent by 2020.

    Goals on paper that residents hope will prove true.

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