Local Politics

Debt load could lead to Durham County tax increase

Posted May 29, 2013

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— 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.

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  • hp277 May 31, 2013

    Instead of whining, if you don't like something at DPS, do something about it.

    hp277

    I did.

    I left.
    lrfarms27572

    Nope. You didn't do a thing but run away.

    I'm not saying DPS is perfect - far from it. But just because you had a bad experience, that doesn't mean everyone does.

  • 68_dodge_polara May 31, 2013

    The underpaid teachers aren't the problem at DPS its the parents and the administrators. That's why it's an awful mess.

  • lrfarms27572 May 31, 2013

    Instead of whining, if you don't like something at DPS, do something about it.

    hp277

    I did.

    I left.

    No fixing that place until you run those of the current mentality off. Ppl think Durham is this great place to be and live...yea if you don't know any better or if you're from Chicago.

    well i'm glad that you are pleased with what you're children got out of it there. whether you wish to accept it or not, your opinion is generally the exception to the rule. I know too many ppl there who have kids, teach, or have teached in DPS, very few are/were satisfied with how thing were done or had to be done.

    defend them if you will, its your money and your children's future, nothing really important right?

  • hp277 May 30, 2013

    "I guess your kids went to middle school somewhere else.

    I am a product of DPS, and what dodge said is the absolute truth. incompetence and ignorance are rampant in the admin and teaching staff and it just continues to get worse."
    lrfarms27572

    Wrong. I had a kid that went to Brogden MS, and will send another one there next year without hesitation.

    There are plenty of highly dedicated quality staff in DPS. Are there some bad apples? Sure - just like you would find at any workplace.

    I have had a kid in DPS schools for 10 years now and have been very pleased overall with the quality of the education, the quality of the staff, and the prompt handling of any issues that have come up.

    Instead of whining, if you don't like something at DPS, do something about it.

  • lrfarms27572 May 30, 2013

    So your perhaps very outdated experience as a student in DPS trumps the current experience of a parent with a child in the system, and qualifies you to make pronouncements about EVERY school in the system?

    Laughable.

    lb27608

    No what's laughable is the opinion of those like you that think everything is fine and dandy in DPS.

    Yea, maybe DSA and Jordan aren't so bad....2 out of how many? (not including the charter schools, which is where the seeming majority of college bound, future productive kids go now).

    I mean, you don't even have an opinion. you just quote my response and say "laughable"

    I would say that the school system is laughable, but it's beyond that, it's a travesty!

    The drug and gang problems, the drop-out rate, the test scores, all of it pathetic!

    Not to mention that an overwhelming portion of the teacher there can't STAND IT

    DPS has taken the state agenda to a whole new level of foolish, inefficient, and just down-right dumb.

    btw, my experience is pretty recent

  • 68_dodge_polara May 30, 2013

    What is laughable is the current state of the schools in Durham. They won't hold back any students in the early years only to pass them on. Then when they can't pass the standardized state tests because they never acquired necessary basic skills for learning in the high school level many end up hopeless and dropping out. It's really sad not funny.

  • lb27608 May 30, 2013

    "I guess your kids went to middle school somewhere else.

    I am a product of DPS, and what dodge said is the absolute truth. incompetence and ignorance are rampant in the admin and teaching staff and it just continues to get worse."

    So your perhaps very outdated experience as a student in DPS trumps the current experience of a parent with a child in the system, and qualifies you to make pronouncements about EVERY school in the system?

    Laughable.

  • lrfarms27572 May 30, 2013

    "The county schools were once ok if not pretty good in many cases. Instead of fixing the cities school problems they merged the county schools with the city schools and now they are all terrible and dangerous." 68_dodge_polara

    This is absolutely not true. You have keyboard diarrhea.

    I have 2 kids in DPS and they are getting a great education. Durham School of the Arts and Jordan HS have been listed among the top high schools in the nation, and Riverside HS has a terrific engineering program that's being copied nationwide.

    There are some DPS schools with real challenges due to poor families and/or English as a second language families, but that doesn't mean every DPS school is "terrible and dangerous."

    hp277

    I guess your kids went to middle school somewhere else.

    I am a product of DPS, and what dodge said is the absolute truth. incompetence and ignorance are rampant in the admin and teaching staff and it just continues to get worse.

  • gingerlynn May 30, 2013

    Rusty Dawg - you are right! As a Durham resident I say cut SOC SERVICES and give to the schools. Again yesterday in the grocery store I was behind someone "buying" groceries with my tax dollars on their EBT card. Only to turn around and pay cash for the separate items, Colt 45, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

  • hp277 May 30, 2013

    "The county schools were once ok if not pretty good in many cases. Instead of fixing the cities school problems they merged the county schools with the city schools and now they are all terrible and dangerous."
    68_dodge_polara

    This is absolutely not true. You have keyboard diarrhea.

    I have 2 kids in DPS and they are getting a great education. Durham School of the Arts and Jordan HS have been listed among the top high schools in the nation, and Riverside HS has a terrific engineering program that's being copied nationwide.

    There are some DPS schools with real challenges due to poor families and/or English as a second language families, but that doesn't mean every DPS school is "terrible and dangerous."

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