Local Politics

Wake, Raleigh approve budgets for new fiscal year

Posted June 18, 2012
Updated June 19, 2012

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— Wake County commissioners and the Raleigh City Council on Monday approved budgets for the year that starts on July 1.

The $938.5 million budget for the county holds the line on property taxes while not giving schools as much money as requested. The city's $681.1 million budget includes a 0.91-cent increase to the tax rate to pay for transportation and affordable housing bonds approved last year.

Wake County expects to take in $22 million more in the coming year, mostly from rising property values and increasing sales tax revenue, officials said.

Of that new revenue, $5.9 million will be given to public safety, $200,000 to Wake Technical Community College, and $3.9 million to the public school system, which normally constitutes 10 percent of the county budget. The proposed budget also cuts 15 jobs and eliminates funding for several nonprofits.

School leaders had requested an $8.8 million increase over last year's budget of $314 million, but Paul Coble, chairman of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, has said the county can't afford to make up for state cuts in school funding.

Schools Superintendent Tony Tata said that, after years of cuts and flat county funding, he was seeking extra funding to pay for new 3,500 new students, open four new schools and give a 1 percent raise to teachers and $500 bonus to other staff.

Tata has said he plans to continue to lobby the General Assembly for increased school funding as lawmakers tweak the two-year state budget. If the district cannot get the money it has requested, it has contingency plans that don't include layoffs, he said.

Statewide, North Carolina public schools will lose $258 million in federal stimulus money next year. The House budget would replace most of that funding, while the Senate's spending proposal would not.

County property taxes will be kept at 53.4 cents per $100 of valuation, while Raleigh property taxes will increase nine-tenths of a cent to 38.26 cents per $100 of valuation.

The City Council also approved a $1 increase in the monthly solid waste service fee to pay for replacing three fire engines and upgrades to various parks and fire stations.

Raleigh's budget includes 32 new positions, including 10 people to maintain greenways, seven to handle a growing number of 911 calls and five highway maintenance workers. It also includes a 2 percent merit raise for city employees.

Council members agreed to defer personal raises to $1,000 annually over five years. City Manager Russell Allen’s proposed budget had the council members receiving a $5,000 increase this year.

County workers also will get a 2 percent performance-based raise under the new county budget, which allocates $4.2 million of the new revenue for employee pay and benefits.

Commissioner Erv Portman objected to plans for a $10,000 raise for the county register of deeds until all of the constitutionally mandated positions in the country were reviewed to determine how their salaries measured up to those of their peers. His motion died, however, when no other commissioner seconded it.


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  • Fun Jun 19, 2012

    Headline should read- City of Raleigh Raises Your Taxes-Again

  • JustGoAway Jun 18, 2012

    Congrats Raleigh! Your taxes paid for many City Employees to go back to School and get Masters Degrees!!!

  • ifcdirector Jun 18, 2012

    Recycling is a worthless feel good measure that accomplishes nothing. There is either a market for those items or there is not. If there is a viable market for recycled materials why is the public having to pay to have THEIR items picked up and sold/buried by the city? How do they justify charging more for trash pickup while charging for something worthless like recycling? Recycling does nothing with the exception of aluminum cans and we don't even get paid for the city collecting those. What a scam. I am glad so many liberals feel good though.....

  • arfamr1007 Jun 18, 2012

    All great reasons to stay out of Wake county...unless you need to shop, for some reason you can get way better deals where all the 1%ers live...go figure ;)

  • ConservativeVoter Jun 18, 2012

    Under Mayor Meeker and City Manager Allen, a lot of bonds have been voted on and passed by the voters.

    Our grandchildren will be upset with us for spending this money and passing the debt on to them.

    Sooner or later someone has to pay off the debt.

  • ConservativeVoter Jun 18, 2012

    The problem in Raleigh is the City Manager.

    If Cary is spending $1 for something and Raleigh is spending $.75. He will get up and and say that we need to increase our spending to stay competitive with Cary.

    Instead, he should say need to reduce our spending so that we can lower taxes for the taxpayers.

  • 426X3 Jun 18, 2012

    Oh! Did I mention Wake County Parks can also cut back a little on the overpaid Director's salary as well.

  • storchheim Jun 18, 2012

    Uhavenoclue, congratulations on the job! That's fantastic!!

  • ykm Jun 18, 2012

    They should have paid off debt.

  • hpr641 Jun 18, 2012

    FE: I agree ("... effectively, a cleverly disguised tax increase."). Also, the article mentions "rising property values". However, existing homes' assessed values have not changed since the '08 revaluations.

    So, I'm wondering how "rising property values" has occurred. My only guess is that it means county-wide, via enough new houses, apartment buildings, and business buildings to add $22M over last year. That seems kinda high to me, but I haven't heard any better theories yet.