Local News

Durham County budget includes tax hike

Posted May 27, 2008
Updated May 28, 2008

— Durham County Manager Mike Ruffin presented the proposed budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year on Tuesday evening.

It would bring a 2.73-cent hike in the property tax rate. The proposed rate would be 71.55 cents per $100, compared with last year's 69 cents. For the owner of a home valued at $186,000, the increase would be $50.78 yearly, or $4.23 a month.

The proposed spending plan also would increase funding for Durham Public Schools by 8 percent, which would take up 3 cents of the property tax rate.

“The two major drivers in next year’s county budget are increases for debt service and school funding,” said Ruffin. “These two alone explain why the tax rate increase is necessary. Together, they simply amount to (a need for) more new money than normal revenue growth in the county budget can absorb.”

Budget highlights:

  • 1 cent of property tax generates $2,803,074
  • The General Fund increased by 3.45 percent
  • General Fund Budget after pass-through funding is subtracted: $683,556,619 less pass-through of $319,444,380 = net $364,112,239
  • Percentage of current expense funding to projected property tax collections: 63.91 percent (includes DPS school debt service of $22.935 million).
  • 20.35 new full-time equivalent positions (FTEs) are recommended, representing a 1 percent increase in FTEs. Of those, 11.5 are grant-funded. One position is funded through the Enterprise Fund. A total of 1,918.38 FTEs are recommended in the budget.
  • Fuel for county vehicles would be allocated $835,879.
  • This year, 52 nonprofit agencies applied for a total of $1,813,593 in grants from the county. Ruffin recommended funding 33 of those organizations at a cost of $927,170. Three would be first-time recipients.

The Durham County Commissioners will hold several budget work sessions over the coming weeks, and citizens can voice views at a public hearing scheduled for Monday, June 9 at 7 p.m. The final budget is scheduled for adoption no later than Monday, June 23.


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  • umustbekiddingme May 28, 2008

    I would not mind paying a little more money if the money was going toward the school and the the places it should be going. History shows that in Durham our taxes go into the pockets of those in office and go towards fixing the mess created by those in office. Not mentioning any names but we all know who I am talking about. It is a shame because Durham has the potential to be a great place if we could get someone honest in office that is looking out for the city more then for themselves.

  • NC_VET May 28, 2008

    Ahh more money for a corrupt city and county government plus
    they are going to need $$ to pay for Nifong trials. Anyone
    noticed that almost no one moves to Durham anymore but commutes
    from other towns. Why? easy high crime, HIGHER Taxes. Cheaper
    to pay high gas prices than live close to work.

  • WHEEL May 28, 2008

    Ruffin didn't mention the "minor" items like the Wagstaff embezzlement fund, defending Nifong's ego trip, fines from the state for the compost fires, paying suspended police officers for months and on and on.

  • RetiredVeteran May 28, 2008

    Ok - let me understand this. Durham just re-evaluated my property and increased it's value by almost $20,000 which means increased taxes on this value, but now we are also going to raise the amount to be taxed on this value? Has anyone calculated how much money Durham will derive from the original property value increase before they increase the rates? So as a property owner, I am getting hit with a double increase in a area which is already among the highest in North Carolina. And they wonder why so many houses are up for sale recently during this economic chaos of mortgage rates to include my own.

  • Me again May 28, 2008

    I wish they'd raise the taxes by a whole dollar. I'm tired of being nickeled and dimed to death. :-P

  • 68_polara May 28, 2008

    “The two major drivers in next year’s county budget are increases for debt service and school funding,” said Ruffin.

    Durham county voters pass every bond set in front of ourselves by large margins every time. This should come as no surprise.