Local Politics

Wake County budget proposal allocates $314M for schools

Posted May 16, 2011 2:05 p.m. EDT
Updated May 16, 2011 7:06 p.m. EDT

— Wake County Manager David Cooke proposed a budget Monday that gives the school district $314.4 million – $900,000 more than school officials requested.

The extra money allotted for schools had formerly gone to the county's human services department.

Cooke's $951.5 million budget is an increase of $300,000 from last year and maintains the county's current property tax rate of 53.4 cents per $100 of valuation.

“Without raising the property tax rate, we had to find the ability to fund priority commitments already in motion, and determine if we would be able to provide employee pay increases for the first time in three years,” Cooke said.

The county's commitments include $2.1 million in funding to contract with a vendor to provide expanded services at the WakeBrook mental health facility, and $3.5 million to open and operate the second phase of the Hammond Road Detention Center. 

The proposed budget would cut 15 jobs mostly from the county's human services and general services departments. Several nonprofits would also lose funding.

The county's library book budget would also be cut by $759,000.

County commissioner Betty Lou Ward thinks taxes should be raised to prevent cuts specifically to nonprofits.

"We have no place to go except to look at property taxes. I realize that nobody would be really happy with that but, by the same token, if that's the only way we can provide the services that need to be provided then we should be looking," Ward said. 

Public hearings on the proposed budget will be held during the Board of Commissioners' regular meeting on Monday, June 6, at 2 p.m. at the board room of the Wake County courthouse and at 7 p.m. at the Commons Building.

A budget work session will be held at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 13.

The board will consider the budget for adoption on Monday, June 20, during its regular meeting.