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Forsyth commissioners approve senior demographics study
Forsyth County

A new study will take a look at what makes Forsyth County a popular destination for senior residents.

Forsyth County commissioners approved $28,920 to Bleakley Advisory to perform a study on the demographics in the county, particularly for seniors.

“The basic scope of work is what is our current percentage of seniors living in the county, what is the population amount of seniors in 10 to 20 years,” Procurement Director Donna Kukarola said. “We also advised currently the county has a tax incentive that if you are 65-plus you may not have to pay school taxes, so in saying that, we’d like to know does this tax incentive play any role in why a person moves to this county.”

The look at taxes will also consider what would happen to the senior population if the incentive was removed and the effect on school tax revenues.

The study will break down demographics based on commission district, look at the popularity and use of age-restricted properties and the future growth of the senior population.

“We were very careful when we listened to the minutes of the [previous] meeting when this was discussed,” Interim County Manager Tim Merritt said. “We tried to be careful when we captured all your [requests].”

District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills brought up adding questions on senior activities at county parks as part of a survey, but it was not included and other commissioners favored using information from a recent parks and recreation study.

When discussed in March, commissioners favored a study to look at why seniors move to the county, which districts they live in and whether age-restricted housing, which often includes townhomes, may have a market bubble.

“There has been some interest, not only in Forsyth County but other counties, of doing a lot of age-restricted zonings,” County Attorney Jarrard said at the time. “The question has come up sort of anecdotally a few times, but the board members I was discussing with said, ‘Maybe we need to do a little bit of formality with this. What is in fact not only the present demographic with respect to seniors, but the future demographic?’”