Debt load could lead to Durham County tax increase
Posted May 29, 2013
Durham, N.C. — Property taxes in Durham County could increase in July to pay down debt, officials said Tuesday.
County Manager Mike Ruffin presented his 2013-14 budget proposal to the Board of Commissioners, calling for tax rates to go up by 3 cents per $100 valuation. The owner of a $150,000 home would pay $45 more in taxes under the proposal.
Residents who live in the unincorporated portions of Durham County would also see an increase in their solid waste convenience center fee, from $105 to $122. The tax rate would go up 2 cents in the Eno Fire District, 3 cents in the Bethesda Fire District and 0.5 cent in the New Hope Fire District.
The $359.7 million general fund budget is 3.23 percent higher than in 2012-13. Ruffin said the sluggish economy has limited the county's revenue, and demand for services continue to rise.
Citing the fact that Durham County has traditionally funded local school operations at high levels compared with other large counties, Ruffin recommended no increase for Durham Public Schools in the coming year. He asked the district to use its fund balance to pay for higher costs and return to the county after completing its annual audit in the fall to seek more money, if needed.
A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 10 in the Durham County Commissioners Chambers, at 200 E. Main St. The budget must be approved before the new fiscal year begins July 1.