RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh's city manager says raising property taxes is needed to pay for growth, but that news is not sitting well with members of the City Council.
City Manager Russell Allen is proposing a $412 million budget, which includes a 3-cent property tax increase. It would be the city's first property tax increase in 13 years.
"I don't take lightly proposing a tax increase. Raleigh does not have a history of doing that," he said. "The city is very, very efficient, so I would not propose it unless I really felt we needed it for service delivery quality."
Monday, councilmembers met in a budget workshop to hash out a possible plan. Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker and other councilmembers have voiced their disapproval to raise property taxes.
"I think taxes are something that are taken from people by force, and we better have a very good reason before we take people's money from them," City Councilman Mike Regan said.
"I really cannot stand this whole budget process. This really is an awful month to begin with when we are dealing with the budget, but this year is going to be especially hard," City Councilman Philip Isley said.
The 8 percent increase would raise about $9 million. The money would pay for 72 new employees, mostly in the public safety department. The money would also go toward the
Fayetteville Street Mall
project and fund trash collection.
Four more budget workshops are scheduled for the future. A budget must be finalized by July 1.