Local Politics

Raleigh to hold line on taxes in 2009-10

Posted May 19, 2009

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— City Manager Russell Allen on Tuesday laid out a proposed budget that would cut 85 vacant city jobs and hold the line on local property taxes.

To erase a projected $20 million shortfall, Allen proposed operating and capital budgets totaling $696.2 million, and his plan calls for keeping Raleigh's property tax rate at 37.35 cents per $100 of value.

Charles Meeker, James West at City Council meeting Proposed Raleigh budget cuts 85 open positions

"We will actually be reverting back to a budget level of two years ago, and that has a significant impact on our budget," he said.

The Parks and Recreation Department would take the biggest hit, losing 27 open positions under Allen's proposal. Budget cuts also would force the city to reduce the operating hours and maintenance of community centers, public pools, parks and greenways.

Fifteen positions in the Inspections Department would be cut, and seven other inspectors would transfer to the Raleigh Fire Department to expand fire safety inspections. Allen said the slowdown in the housing market has cut the department's workload.

The Public Works Department would lose 11 positions, as well as its asphalt and pothole patching crew, meaning street repairs would take longer to complete.

Together with other reductions, such as restricting travel and training, holding off on replacing older vehicles and capping pay raises for city workers at 4 percent, the eliminated positions would save Raleigh about $15.1 million in operating costs and $10 million in capital spending, Allen said.

Local 150 of the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union, which represents nearly 250 city workers in various departments, immediately criticized Allen's proposal and bashed the city manager for recently accepting a 5 percent pay raise as part of a contract extension.

The proposed $384.5 million operating budget would be 0.7 percent less than the 2008-09 operating budget.

"This is an unusual year," Mayor Charles Meeker said. "No tax increases, no fee increases, no furloughs (and) no layoffs may not seem like much, but in this economy, it's actually a pretty good-sounding budget."

The City Council will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. June 2 at City Hall on the budget proposal and will debate details before adopting a final budget later that month.


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  • wcnc May 20, 2009

    bohican- It's not just entry level positions that get that raise. It has to do with where you fall in the pay grade salary range. However, be thankful for any cost of living raise. Wake Employees do NOT get ANY cost of living raise, haven't for many years. At least you have a chance of your raise covering some or all of your insurance increases. Once again, Wake employees won't have that luxury. They haven't heard yet how much insurance will increase.....

  • Bohican May 20, 2009

    For anyone interested in the truth, city employees (all of them) do not get a max 4 % raise. Only entry level employees are eligible (they are a small portion of a good workforce). The longer you've been here (more experienced, additional training, more skilled)...you move up your salary range for your position... As a loyal 15 yr employee, I only recieve cost of living increases. None has been greater than 2% for almost a decade. This year I get 0. I wouldn't complain if each year most health care premiums weren't raised, deductibles doubled while millions of dollars are spent for other "ESSENTIAL" items like art, roundabouts, studies OR if the City Mgr. had voluntarily included himself in the same financial package that he expects the men / women of the city to accept. These are the people who move trees during hurricanes in driving rain, come to your house when you are in fear, will go into a burning building, try hard to make the city be a place you want to live. The truth.

  • PeaceOut2017 May 20, 2009

    For once I'm proud of my city. Kudo's to Raleigh for this year anyway.

  • wcnc May 20, 2009

    concerned- where do you read that cops get a pay cut? They are eligible for the max 4% raise just like other city employees. But keep in mind that NO Wake County employee will get any raise this year, but their insurance costs are bound to go up too. So, I thinking no Raleigh City employee, cop or otherwise, should complain about their raise being too low.

  • RPD07 May 19, 2009

    So cap off the pay raise at 4% after the city manager himself just got a 5% pay raise?????!!!!!!! Thanks dude, hope you don't like to speed.....

  • Truth Time May 19, 2009

    So the city Manager gets a pay raise and the cops and get a pay cut.... Such bull

  • wcnc May 19, 2009

    Capping pay raises at 4%?? Wake County Employees are getting 0% raises this year, so I hope no Raleigh City employees will complain about "only" getting 4% max....

    And if these cut postions weren't filled to begin with, how will it now take longer to get potholes repaired?

  • 1Packfan May 19, 2009

    Not increasing fees? Does Meeker not recall his "brilliant" scam of mandating water conservation to justify increasing water rates?

    Oh - I know, let's spend more money to build more highrises that can remain empty because no business can afford to move, and the housing market is so bad people won't pay $250K+ to live ina condo downtown!

    But as long as the city manager gets a raise, when every other state employee loses money - except Mary Easley....

  • Handle With Care May 19, 2009

    Add that to the .54 Wake County Tax, then you are paying closer to .91 cents to live in the City of Oaks......my last tax bill was $4981 for a little over 2000 sq ft house. OUCHIES!!!
    I do think Russell does a good job, but a tax break sure would have been nice.Maybe the nice folks at the Wake County Tax office will give us a break....

  • 1whocares May 19, 2009

    So how can they justify giving good old Russell a pay increase??