Local Politics

Raleigh holds line on taxes, uses reserves to support arts, nonprofits

Posted June 21, 2011 4:41 p.m. EDT
Updated June 21, 2011 5:40 p.m. EDT

— The Raleigh City Council approved a $660.9 million budget Tuesday that holds the line on the city's property tax rate and uses some reserve funds to support arts and social services programs that faced cuts.

Councilmen John Odom and Bonner Gaylord voted against the budget, which is 6.6 percent larger than Raleigh's 2010-11 budget.

The new budget eliminates 35 vacant positions, including a dozen from the Solid Waste Services Department and 10 civilian positions in the police department.

Instead of giving merit raises to city workers, the budget calls for giving each a one-time $500 bonus. Raleigh also is cutting its contribution to the supplemental retirement program for city workers to from 3 to 2 percent.

The council agreed to dip into a capital reserve fund for the money needed to forgo planned cuts to arts programs and services like the Boys & Girls Clubs.

The reserve was created a few years ago when the city halted planned infrastructure projects because of the recession. City Manager Russell Allen said the money borrowed for the arts and social programs would be returned to the reserve later.

Raleigh's property tax rate remains at 37.35 cents per $100 of value for 2011-12.