Local Politics

Proposed budgets in Durham, Chatham County include tax increases

Posted May 17, 2010
Updated May 18, 2010

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— Residents in Durham and Chatham County would see their property taxes go up next year under budget proposals presented Monday night by Durham City Manager Thomas Bonfield and Chatham County Manager Charlie Horne.

Bonfield's $353.4 million spending plan for the 2010-11 fiscal year, which starts in July, would be a 2.2 percent increase from the budget Durham City Council approved last year.

“As with last year, we continue to face unprecedented economic times in our community, state and nation," Bonfield said in a statement. "Much of the budget development process focused on prioritizing programs and services and allocating resources to the highest priorities identified by the community and the City Council."

His budget proposal calls for raising the property tax rate by 1.19 cents to help offset costs for voter-approved bond projects. The increase would bring the tax rate to 55.19 cents per $100 valuation.

The average home value in Durham is $161,700, meaning the higher tax rate would add $19.24 to the average tax bill.

The proposed budget also would lay off 15 city workers and eliminate 16 vacant positions, suspend merit raises for the year and increase fees for parking, solid waste disposal, water and sewer use and stormwater runoff.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for June 7 at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers at 101 City Hall Plaza. Final budget approval is set for June 21.

In Chatham County, Horne's $84.6 million budget proposal would raise the property tax rate by 2.5 cents to fund schools and open new facilities.

Chatham County Schools will open Margaret Pollard Middle School in the fall, and the county also plans to open three parks, a library and two classroom buildings at Central Carolina Community College in the coming year.

School spending would increase by 6 percent in the proposed budget, while other expenses would be cut by 4 percent, including a freeze for a second straight year on merit raises for county employees.

"These are painful decisions, but we have no choice in this economy,” Horne said in a statement. “We continue to ask more of county employees and would like to be able to increase salaries.”

The Chatham County Board of Commissioners will hold public hearings on the proposed budget at 6 p.m. June 1 in the Multipurpose Room at Central Carolina Community College in Pittsboro and 6 p.m. June 2 in the Siler City courtroom.

25 Comments

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  • edbuck51 May 19, 2010

    get rid of these spenders in Durham and get someone who knows how to run a business and balance a budget.

  • balog May 18, 2010

    Wildcat - the median income in chatham county is about $51K. Someone must be working down there...

  • wildcat May 18, 2010

    Chatham county has taxed people to death already. What they need is industry to come into Chatham and bring JOBS. Of course the leaders in that county really don't see that. There title is just in name only. Be careful how you vote next election.

  • tomfoolery May 18, 2010

    ezLikeSundayMorning
    When we reach the point where one side completey loses it either way, we are in real trouble. The conservatives will flip out about any increase and the liberals will flip out about any cut.
    I thought thats where we are.

  • bluegrass May 18, 2010

    Which failed government programs will be eliminated to help the taxpayers? NONE you said. Told you so.

  • ezLikeSundayMorning May 18, 2010

    Yes, we want gov't to be as effcient as possible, but getting all upset at local gov't for costing you an extra $20 because you're made at state or federal gov't for taxing you so much is just ridiculuous. When we reach the point where one side completey loses it either way, we are in real trouble. The conservatives will flip out about any increase and the liberals will flip out about any cut.

  • balog May 18, 2010

    "Hopefully most folks will understand that Durham needs money to provide services."

    HA! WHat a neovel concept. Asking these people on golo to understand reason and common sense? What a joke!

  • gingerlynn May 18, 2010

    Bonfield is the manager for Durham City. The county was looking at a 3 cent hike as well last time I checked. That would mean more than a nickel total for city residents

  • balog May 18, 2010

    I am so glad you all have grand solutions to problems. You all expect the same public services, but at no extra cost. What you all don't realize is money moves. You don't pay taxes, you don't get services. People provide those services don't have jobs, they don't pay taxes then. They don't spend money. Economy stops.
    I mean come on, on average, your tax bill will go up a whole $19 dollars. Big Ffffn Deal. You all probably spend that in 3 days at Charbucks.

  • grains May 18, 2010

    Ok. I meant to say a penny per hundred. The increase is still pretty low. I may just drink one less cup of coffee per month.

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