Local News

Proposed Durham budget increases property tax for public safety, city debt

Posted May 19, 2014

— Residents are being asked to fund a 1.29 cent tax increase to cover city debt and public safety salaries in the city’s proposed 2014-15 budget, presented Monday night.

The $386.7 million budget, a 2.7 percent increase from last year, includes funding for voter-approved debt service costs from previous bonds and covers the salaries of 16 police officers and 15 firefighters that were under recently expired federal grants.

For the owner of a $150,000 home, their tax bill would increase by $19.35.

City Manager Tom Bonfield described the budget as propelling the city forward with increased “connectivity, cooperation, collaboration, innovation and inclusion while meeting community priorities.”

Other budget highlights:
- The street resurfacing fund is recommended to receive a $250,000 boost, increasing the fund to $1 million
- Eight new positions will be added for the water management, public works and human resources departments
- $1.7 million for public arts and culture, including the Carolina Theatre, Durham Arts Council, St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, American Dance Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham Blues Festival and other public art initiatives
- $6 million for fleet vehicles

Residents are asked to submit their thoughts and questions on the budget through the city’s social media channels for an e-town hall meeting on June 2 at 7 p.m. A public hearing on the budget will also be held on June 2 at City Hall. City leaders expect to approve the budget on June 16.


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  • Kevin Schneider May 20, 2014
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    I would normally not even be bothered with this much of an increase and for a reason, however, when the real estate market went south, my property value was increased by Durham almost 50K, although the real estate value fell 30k. That was an additional 50k worth of property tax they have been collecting for my property the past 5 years. In addition to the constant discrepancies in the value of my vehicles. They supposedly use Kelly Blue Book, as do I and they are always over-inflated with even an exceptional condition vehicle is worth.

  • ncprr1 May 20, 2014

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    With the increase in the tax-base, they shouldn't have to increase the rate also. They should be decreasing it. That's the way that it should work, if there weren't so many parasites, clinging to the tax payers.

  • Clayton Mack May 20, 2014
    user avatar

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    Complaints while Durham is the the most vibrant it has ever been, and the population has increased over 30,000 residents in the past ten years. Just under $20.00 per $100,000 means the majority of Durham homeowners will spend around $40.00 extra a year in property taxes. That's pennies compared to the enhancement in the quality of life we've experienced in these past ten years.

  • ncprr1 May 20, 2014

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    It's like they have found the perfect recipe for failure. Unfortunately for the taxpayers, it's the only one they know.

  • shallottemustang May 20, 2014

    Hmm...liberal policies leading to higher taxes...never saw that coming.

  • ncprr1 May 20, 2014

    Oh, so that's why the place is a war zone. You Durham people just aren't paying enough taxes. Shame on you.

  • SusanandAaron Tambot-Blankenship May 20, 2014
    user avatar

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    What jobs would you cut? Please be specific.

  • iopsyc May 20, 2014

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    When talking to a reporter it's difficult to fully explain what you'll do with $387 million. What they plan on doing is better outlined in the budget documents.

  • Forthe Newssite May 20, 2014
    user avatar

    this has NOTHING to do with public safety. It has EVERYTHING to do with greed!

  • meeper May 20, 2014

    Funny . The way it's worded no one would argue with a tax increase for public safety. The real translation is to fund Durham's massive social welfare machine and the financing of far too many city/county employees. It's ridiculous.