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As Wake Shapes Budget, Agencies Asking for $75M More

Posted March 17, 2008
Updated March 18, 2008

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— The Wake County Board of Commissioners has a daunting task ahead – balancing the budget as agencies say what they need to serve the public.

The school system is asking for the biggest increase – $35 million more than last year – a 12 percent increase.

The money will be used to pay teachers salaries and cover the cost of school programs. It does not include new school construction, also a hefty expense.

"But I think if we can prove to them that we need it, and that we are good stewards of the money, then we should receive it,” Board of Education Chairwoman Rosa Gill said.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office is asking for an extra $3.1 million over its 2007-08 budget.

Public Safety is requesting an additional $5 million.

In all, budget requests are $75 million more than last year. The 2008-09 fiscal year opens July 1.

"Just like your wish list for Christmas, you have that wish list, but you don't always get everything that you are asking for," Gill said.

The commissioners met Monday to begin the process of deciding who gets what. Because of growth, the county collected $37 million in new revenue, but that still leaves a $38 million gap.

"We are fortunate that we do have additional resources coming in. You just have to prioritize and do the best that you can," Board of Commissioners Chairman Joe Bryan said.

The county has seen a large increase in property values from a revaluation completed last year, but commissioners promised they would start the budget process by assuming a reduced tax rate that would protect the average property owner against an automatic tax increase.

The Wake County commissioners will hold public hearings June 2 on the recommended budget they devise. They are scheduled to adopt a budget two weeks later.

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  • CuriousT Mar 18, 2008

    And the Lottery is providing how much this quarter?

  • weasleyes Mar 18, 2008

    seeingthru: Amen! They need to cut non-essential programs, and go to zero-based budgeting.

  • seeingthru Mar 18, 2008

    fed up with it all, they are never satisfied

  • I guess I will just type this Mar 18, 2008

    i hate all the school talk... god i'm glad i went to private school, and i don't have kids.
    so i'm smarter that 80-90% of you all from the start:)

  • wcnc Mar 18, 2008

    And I hope what does NOT happen is that because the schools are demandning MORE and MORE with NO accountability, that the other departments don't get what they need.....

  • Garner_Parent Mar 18, 2008

    I agree with Gatsby.
    Moreover, why the entire fleet of cars/SUVs/vans with the drivers of the 'Wake County Public School Transportation' that tote 1-4 children around from various locations back and forth from schools. The cost of the vehicle, maintainence, fuel, insurance, and driver salary/benefits; cannot be cost effective.

  • WXYZ Mar 18, 2008

    Hmmm. Well, I guess no elected city, county or state of NC official has heard that we are in a SERIOUS RECESSION; or that the Federal reserve has cut interest rates several times in the past 6 months, at least 2 times as an economic EMERGENCY; or that the Federal government is issuing an income tax REBATE to stimulate the economy; or that the cost of living (i.e. inflation)is getting higher by the day; or that thousands of people are LOSING THEIR JOBS every day; or that thousands of people are LOSING THEIR HOMES every day etc, etc. And now they tell us that $37 million in extra income is NOT ENOUGH???!!!! Where do they expect us to get the money? Shouldn't the state and local government officials at least be getting "THE HINT", and LOWERING taxes and giving some of the SURPLUS revenue BACK TO THE TAX PAYERS????!!!! I truly do not understand how these people can ask for MORE MONEY, while apparently IGNORING the economic disaster which is unfolding around us all.

  • Gatsby Mar 18, 2008

    Another $$$ saving tip for the school system...Stop the silly bus trips across each corner of the county and start sending students to their LOCAL campus which will save 36 Million a year in diesel cost. Now you are 1 Million to the good (Give it to the teachers ) Problem Solved !

  • Conservative Mar 18, 2008

    "they should give them $1 and tell 'em to win the rest of the $70 million through the NC Education lottery"

    I love that!

  • Escaped ftom Wake Mar 18, 2008

    WCPSS what happened to the savings from the year round schools, and the 2000 students that didn't show up for class last year? That should have just about taken care of the 35 million, or was the savings promised just a pipe dream?

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