Raleigh budget grants pay raises to police, firefighters
Posted June 12
Raleigh, N.C. — The Raleigh City Council on Monday approved a $919.1 million budget that includes a small property tax increase as well pay increases for police officers and firefighters.
Raleigh police and firefighters have been asking for a pay increase from City Council members since last spring, with many saying they could not afford to live in the city on their salaries.
Last year, first responders lobbied city leaders for a pay increase and said they were disappointed. Ultimately, a 3 percent raise for all city employees was passed. At the time, firefighters and police officers were asking for a raise between 7 and 10 percent.
Beginning July 1, the starting salary for Raleigh police officers will be increased to $42,300, which city officials say is the second highest starting salary offered among local municipalities.
The starting salary for firefighters will increase from $33,654 to $39,200. City officials said this starting salary is the highest of any regional municipality when compared to salaries from the 2017 fiscal year.
City officials said tenured senior police officers and firefighters will also see higher earning potential and a total of 1,200 employees will be impacted by the pay adjustments.
About 2,100 non-public safety employees will also see pay increases under the budget.
City officials said the pay changes will be sustained by additional property tax revenue generated by a property tax rate increase of 0.7 cents. The tax rate increase from 41.8 to 42.5 cents per $100 valuation means the owner of median value home of $195,154 will pay an additional $13.68 in property taxes.
Raleigh residents will also see their monthly water and sewer bill increase by 3 percent to support efforts to maintain and expand infrastructure as the city grows as well as a 75-cent increase in their monthly residential solid waste collection fee.
Overall, the approved budget is 7 percent higher than the budget approved for the previous fiscal year.