GIBSONVILLE, N.C. -- The boundary line separating Guilford and Alamance counties is changing.
A long-running dispute over the county line was officially settled after State lawmakers passed 'HOUSE BILL 1076-Alamance/Guilford Boundary Line' with a unanimous vote to clarify the boundary.
The board of commissioners in both counties requested and agreed to the bill. A number of homes and businesses near downtown Gibsonville will be affected. Downtown Gibsonville is in Guilford County. The current county line marker sits on the side of Burlington Street before the Family Dollar store.
But according to a map from the NC Geodetic Survey, once the new boundary line is verified and set, the marker will move just shy of a block up the road and place some homes and businesses in Alamance County.
The state is returning to the original boundary agreement of 1849 when Alamance County broke off from Orange County. A buffer zone on either side of the line permitted rezoning at the discretion of local officials and the request of property owners. Over time this flexibility blurred the line. Properties near the county line which had been rezoned in the past at the owner's request will now return to its original county and property taxes divided accordingly.
With the boundary now replaced by a straight line, 109 homes will be affected. 38 homes will go from being in Guilford County to being in Alamance while 71 will go from Alamance County to Guilford.
The change will not affect where children attend school unless parents choose to make the school system switch. One major concern for many people affected are the taxes.
"We are one block over from being Guilford County and we picked this house because it was in Alamance County," said Karen Beam a waitress at Jack's Barbeque on Gibsonville.
Beam who doesn't own the home she lives in is worried about implications for other taxes and how it could affect people on a tight budget.
"I've never had to pay Guilford County taxes but I am told it is more especially something like your vehicle tax," added Beam.
Guilford County taxes are 26-percent higher than Alamance. A switch will not affect prior tax payment record.
"If they paid taxes in one and then learn they are in another county they would be deemed to be current on their taxes," said Mark Payne, the Guilford County Attorney. Another area of concern is when a property is right on the line.
"Land can be divided up between one county or the other but if it is a house then the taxes for the house, the voter's registration is determined by the location of the master bedroom," said Rep. Jon
Hardister (R- Guilford) is the lead sponsor of the legislation. He was joined by Reps. Steve Ross (R-Alamance), Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford), Cecil Brockman (D-Guilford) and Amos Quick (D-Guilford).
Senators Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) and Rick Gunn (R-Alamance) supported and carried the bill in the Senate.
"This is a common-sense bill that clarifies the boundary line between Alamance County and Guilford County," Hardister said. "I commend our local officials on this agreement, and I'm glad the General Assembly was able to resolve this matter. This will provide clarification and certainty for anyone living near the county line," said Hardister in an earlier statement.
Surveyors from the state will start field verifying the new straight line border as soon as July.
They will also put permanent monuments before current county line markers are moved to their new locations. They anticipate completion by the fall.
The process is still in the preliminary stage of effecting the change. Impacted property owners will be notified by their respective counties when the process is completed.
To get more information, contact your respective county.