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Durham County Budget of $643M Proposed

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DURHAM, N.C. — The Durham County manager has proposed a $643 million budget for the fiscal year that begins this summer, a plan that would bring an 8.3 percent increase in spending and a 4.8 percent increase in the property tax rate.

The fiscal 2008 proposal that Manager Mike Ruffin submitted to the Board of Commissioners on Monday evening calls for more spending on schools, Durham Technical Community College, the county's share of Medicaid and county employees' salaries.

The tax rate would rise from 80.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to 84.8 cents. That would allow spending of $642.9 million.

Ruffin told commissioners in his budget message that the state Legislature has to give larger counties more tools than the property tax to raise operating funds.

"It’s not fair to place the full burden for school funding on property tax payers. We just can’t be expected to rely on a tool developed in the 17th century for 21st century needs,” Ruffin said.

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