oRanGe cRuSh ReViSitedReGional bRief
For example, Chapel Hill and Carrboroestablished a rural buffer that “denes theurban services boundary and the limit of Cha-pel Hill and Carrboro growth.” This bufferdrives up the price of land by making devel-opable land scarce. Chapel Hill uses zoning and ordinances to require solar power, historicdistricts, tree protection, affordable housing,a carbon reduction program, and renewableenergy.Orange County has followed suit withfarmland preservation, historic preservation,a comprehensive land-use plan that includespreservation of natural and cultural resources,a lands legacy program, and protection of natural areas. While these policies are questionable froma property-rights perspective, they seem to bewhat many citizens of Orange County want. As such, they cannot escape the inevitableeconomic consequences of those choices.Businesses (such as the Tanger Outlet Malland the New Hope Commons) nd such poli-cies prohibitive and therefore locate in neigh-boring counties. When new businesses go toneighboring counties, the property tax burdenfalls disproportionately on residential propertyowners, making homeowners pay 85 percentof all property taxes in the county. Anti-business and anti-development poli-cies result in Orange County residents being more dependent on property taxes for funding the county than are neighboring counties. Asof 2010, property taxes account for 76 percentof Orange County’s general fund revenue, upfrom 74 percent a year ago.Meanwhile, neighboring Durham Coun-ty’s is at 58 percent, and Alamance County’sis 49 percent.In addition, Orange County residents paythe 15th highest property tax burden of the100 counties as a percentage of income.
In order to attract teachers, administra-tors, and some parents, the commission-ers promise to spend 50 percent of the newsales-tax revenue or $1.25 million per year onschools. While the county would use the new taxrevenue to fund capital projects, it is impor-tant to note that Orange County taxpayerscontinue to provide ample resources to thepublic schools in the county.Orange County Schools has one of thehighest local per-student expenditure inNorth Carolina. Between 2004 and 2010,the district has had the fourth or fth high-est local public-education contribution in thestate, averaging nearly $1,400 per studenthigher than the state average. While the dis-trict’s rank falls once state and federal funding is added, Orange County Schools still spendsnearly $1,200 more per student than the stateaverage.
Since 2001, Orange County Schools andChapel Hill–Carrboro City Schools have bothspent millions to addresses various capitalneeds (see Table 1.).
Chapel Hill–Carrborospent more per-pupil dollars on capital expen-ditures than nearly every other school district
Table 1. Per-Pupil Expenditures, 2004–10
Local Per-Pupil ExpendituresTotal State, Local, and Federal Per-Pupil Expenditures
Orange Co.SchoolsStateAverageDifferenceOrangeCo. RankOrange Co.SchoolsStateAverageDifferenceOrangeCo. Rank
20103,182.08$1,930.62+$1,251.464 of 1159,348.05$8,451.43+$896.6243 of 11520093,534.82$2,123.31+$1,411.515 of 1159,861.69$8,662.88+$1,198.8134 of 11520083,679.18$2,075.15+$1,604.034 of 1159,796.90$8,521.66+$1,275.2428 of 11520073,602.28$1,934.05+$1,668.234 of 1159,556.35$8,017.42+$1,538.9320 of 11520063,264.05$1,873.14+$1,390.914 of 1158,795.64$7,596.15+$1,199.4925 of 11520053,089.85$1,811.66+$1,278.194 of 1158,347.21$7,327.60+$1,019.6130 of 11520042,841.35$1,716.94+$1,124.414 of 1158,125.28$7,006.13+$1,119.1521 of 115