Local Politics

Durham County OKs budget, sets tax votes

Posted June 28, 2011 11:22 a.m. EDT
Updated June 28, 2011 1:29 p.m. EDT

— The Durham County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved a $474.6 million budget for the fiscal year that starts Friday and agreed to place two sales tax votes on the November ballot.

The 2011-12 budget maintains Durham County's property tax rate of 74.59 cents per $100 valuation. The spending plan includes raises for county employees and fully funds the requests of Durham Public Schools.

Twenty positions, including six that were vacant, were eliminated in the budget, but funds were set aside for 11 new positions, including four maintenance workers at the new Human Services Complex and four workers in county libraries.

The commissioners unanimously approved asking voters this fall to support a quarter-cent sales tax increase for education. County Manager Mike Ruffin estimated that the increase would generate about $9.2 million a year, with the bulk going to the school district. Durham Technical Community College and local pre-kindergarten programs also would benefit.

The board also unanimously approved a referendum on a half-cent tax to improve public transportation.