Local Politics

Durham raises property taxes in new budget

Posted June 21, 2011 10:18 a.m. EDT
Updated June 21, 2011 10:27 a.m. EDT

— The $362.5 million budget approved Monday by the Durham City Council includes a half-cent increase to the local property tax rate.

The budget, which goes into effect next week with the start of the 2011-12 fiscal year, also includes pay raises for city workers, new positions and money to rejuvenate neighborhoods, officials said.

The 0.56-cent increase raises Durham's tax rate to 55.75 cents per $100 of assessed value. A house valued at $150,000, for example, would see its tax bill increase by $8.40.

The budget is about $9.1 million larger than Durham's 2010-11 budget, officials said.

City workers will receive 2 percent raises in the budget, with police officers getting raises of 3 to 5 percent and firefighters getting 3 percent. The city also increased its contributions to city worker and firefighter retirement plans by 1 percent.

The budget creates 21 positions while eliminating 10 others. A new position in the Human Resources Department will manage the employee health fund, with an eye toward improving the health of city workers and their families to minimize health care costs.

The City Council also raised water and sewer rates by 4.7 percent and stormwater rates by 8.5 percent, costing homeowners about $5 to $12 extra a month.

The $50.5 million capital improvement budget for 2011-12 includes several water and sewer projects, officials said.