Local Politics

Wake County seeks budget flexibility

Posted January 4, 2010 3:33 p.m. EST
Updated January 4, 2010 7:51 p.m. EST

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— Departments in Wake County government have been asked to find another 7 percent in their budget that could be cut in the coming months as the county continues to deal with lagging revenue, officials said Monday.

Tax collections and fee revenue for the county are $8 million to $11 million below projections, officials said.

To help balance the budget, a hiring freeze in county government will continue through the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year in June, officials said. Also, more positions will be cut in inspections and other development-related departments, officials said, noting that the slow economy has reduced their workload.

Last year, the county eliminated more than 100 jobs, many of which weren't filled, to balance the budget without raising taxes.

As County Manager David Cooke prepares the fiscal 2010-11 budget in the next few months, he wants options for possible cuts. Some departments might not face a 7 percent cut if the impact of service to the public would be too severe, he said.

Last year, for example, all departments were asked to come up with 10 percent cuts, but some departments, such as the Wake County Sheriff's Office, saw smaller reductions.