Local Politics

Proposed budget for Wake County holds line on taxes

Posted May 18, 2009

Wake County Manager David Cooke presented his recommendations for the county’s 2009-10 budget to the Board of Commissioners Monday afternoon. He recommended no increase in the property tax rate, but a reduction of 122 positions from the number in the 2008-09 budget.

Revenues to the county have fallen since this time last year. Collections have slowed for both property and sales taxes. Cooke’s proposal reflects that. He asked for $31 million less than he did in fiscal year 2009.

No tax increase in Wake budget plan No tax increase in Wake budget plan

"We are committed to balancing the budget without increasing taxes," Cooke said. "Because this is a long-term financial challenge, we determined that reductions in the budget must be sustainable."
The budget proposal, for a total of almost $100 million, is 3.1 percent less than the county budget for the fiscal year 2008-09. Expenditures in two major areas – education and county government – would decrease.

The greatest cuts came from county government, where each department was asked to make reductions. Cooke recommended that two libraries -- Athens Drive and Duraleigh -- be closed.
Of the 122 jobs targeted for elimination, 102 are open positions. No reductions would be taken from ambulance services, detention officers or sheriff's deputies. County employees would forgo raises under the plan.

"I don't think anybody is going to like it,” Cooke said. “Nobody likes the idea of not being able to have a pay increase … but I do think there is an understanding of the economic situation."

Wake County schools, including the public school system and Wake Technical Community College, would see funding decrease by 0.9 percent.

The county would put more money toward capital projects, including funds for the construction of a library on Leesville Road, a detention center on Hammond Road and a center for mental health and substance abuse services.

The public can comment on the budget proposal before it is finalized at meetings June 1. Meetings will be held at 2 p.m. at the Wake County Courthouse, Room 700 and at 7 p.m. at the Commons Building in Wake County Office Park.

The commissioners will meet for a work session June 8 in anticipation of a vote June 15.


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  • readalot3 May 19, 2009

    "Close two libraries, but build a new one. Then cut positions? Weird!"

    The new library is already built and was already funded by a previous bond. What they are doing is *keeping* the new one and closing one on leased space. Make sense? To *scrap* the new library would actually be more expensive in the long run...

  • patsfan0104 May 19, 2009

    Thank you Wake County. My sister goes to Athens Drive, and no longer having the library open after school will affect her education and everyone in the Athens Drive community.

  • Nonewsisgoodnews May 19, 2009

    They eliminated much more then they lead on to. That surely doesn't include the 60 teachers who were double dipping asked to resign or have their contract terminated (good idea though) and many more of the 1500 state employees in the schools on terminating contract have been told they will not be returning. I guess they don't call it eliminating positions when a position is eliminated by a contract not being renewed or forced resignation. I don't think we are seeing all of the real figures here. That is nice that taxes won't increase yet, I'm planning to move away myself before that can happen.

  • Nobody but Carolina May 19, 2009

    I sure hope it ends up with no tax increases, especially on property tax. Then I'll finally get the decrease on my auto property tax bill from the reduced rate that went in to effect 7-1-08 and normal devaluation of the vehicle.

  • sickofstupidpeople May 18, 2009

    The county commissioners need to take about $200,000 of David Cooke's fat salary and distribute it to the hard working county employees that won't be getting raises. It's not like the 2% raises they usually get help anyway. Cooke, why don't you just go ahead and resign, and do us all a favor?

  • imtiredofit May 18, 2009

    No change in the tax rate? What is the current tax rate? Is it the same rate it was before the last property re-evaluation in 2008? If so they jumped my property value by 50%, so that would mean 50% more taxes. They were talking about lowering the millage rate to compensate for the jump in home values but I don't remember seeing that change.

  • coolwill May 18, 2009

    It is time for our government to realize that all this growth was negative and we can not take care of another country’s problem on the backs of legal American. What other signs does this world need? (Drought, financial, pandemic, drugs, gangs) this government will raise your car insurance to protect you from the ones that do not have insurance and at the same time don’t perform road side unannounced driver license and insurance checks. I guess they are afraid of the ACLU. Just because you live in the US it doesn’t make you an American therefore qualifying you to all we have to offer, you must be here legally. And stop busing all over the county. And I am a Christian. God stop the people trying to build the stairway to heaven and separated the people into groups by speech.

  • whatelseisnew May 18, 2009

    If you want to pay more taxes, go right ahead. Just fill out a check to the wake county revenue department and mail it in. I pay far too much in taxes, and would prefer a tax cut. So perhaps you can help me out.

  • Schoon May 18, 2009

    A budget of almost 100 Million! Does anyone proof read these or have a concept of amounts? They are only off by $853 million.

  • tmedlin May 18, 2009

    I agree with coolwill, AND scrap the new library...state taxes are going to soar over the next couple of years...keep the county taxes as low as possible