Local Politics

Wake slashes budget by $23M

Posted February 2, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Wake County commissioners on Monday approved about $23.2 million in budget cuts to move spending into line with lower projections for tax revenue.

Various county departments cut about $14.2 million, while Wake County's public schools returned about $5.7 million of its annual support from the county and Wake Technical Community College returned about $306,000.

Money in hands Lagging tax revenue prompts county cuts

"We're making a lot of tough decisions other areas have had to make in years past," Commissioner Tony Gurley said.

Because of lagging revenue from sales taxes and real estate deed stamps, fiscal analysts recently projected a budget deficit of at least $23 million for the 2008-09 year.

County Manager David Cooke ordered departments to cut their budgets by 4 percent and advised them to prepare a list of cuts totaling 10 percent in case further cuts are needed in the coming months and during the 2009-10 budget year.

A hiring freeze the keeps more than 100 vacant positions open to account for a chunk of the cuts.

"We believe there will be minimal impact on service delivery, (but some) customers may have to wait longer (in lines) because there are fewer employees," Cooke said.

Cutting the budget could help forestall a property tax increase to erase the deficit, county officials said.

"The underlying assumption in everything you will hear is that property taxes will stay where they are. If things get bad enough, things may change, but we don't forecast it getting that bad," Commissioner Stan Norwalk said.

More cuts could mean layoffs of county employees or the closure of some public libraries, officials said.

"I don't think any of us want to see a library close, but we may not have a choice," Commissioner Betty Lou Ward said.

11 Comments

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  • Banker Mommy Feb 3, 2009

    ...and those deputies are needed to get rid of the illegals, who are the ones bleeding us dry to begin with!

    sickofstupidpeople and Bob3425, great ideas.

  • Banker Mommy Feb 3, 2009

    Sheriff's deputies were warned that they could potentially be laid off, depending on how everything went yesterday. Don't the county commissioners realize that in a bad economy, laying off law enforcement is the LAST thing you'd want to do? Laying off ANYONE only harms the economy anyway. But what happens when times get tough? People turn to crime. We need our deputies more than ever. There is a lot more fluff in the county that can be cut out.

  • Bob3425 Feb 3, 2009

    Why property taxs, why not a county sales tax..then everyone paids.

  • Bob3425 Feb 3, 2009

    Want save 23 million stop giving social benefits to illegals.

  • Tax Man Feb 2, 2009

    A budget consists of how to spend the money you have - if you do not have it, you just cut it out - simple! Now, to be fair, you should cut it equally out of all budget items - poor planning on the part of the forecasters - but when the revenue drops the expenses have to drop as well. Good time to see what they are spending money on that is really not necessary! The pay for all employees should be cut the same percentage - including benefits!

  • sickofstupidpeople Feb 2, 2009

    The first thing they should have done was cut County Manager David Cooke's rediculous salary in HALF. No, he'll get another fat pay raise or bonus because he oversaw the budget cuts.

  • roadbrnr Feb 2, 2009

    No, we absolutly do not need another tax increase! But they do need to keep cutting out waste and do what most of us have to do, do without,save,and just try as best you can to get by! Why in he world would you put another burden on the taxpayers to foot your spending when we are losing our jobs,trying to pay the mortgage and just live?

  • Steve Crisp Feb 2, 2009

    Good start. Now keep going. Then explain to us how you can cut budgetary allocations when you HAVE to, but not just when you should.

  • whatelseisnew Feb 2, 2009

    wrx44 - I am with you on that program. Maybe we can get the Sheriff to hold a fundraiser to keep the program going. I do not trust that a tax increase would go to the Sheriff.

  • wrx44 Feb 2, 2009

    If a small property tax raise is what it takes to keep the Sheriff deputies this county needs, and keep the program to deport illegal immigrants (287-G), then I am all for an increase in taxes.

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