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Wake County Residents To Help Balance Budget With New, Increased Fees

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Taxpayers in Wake County will help balance the budget with new and increased fees.

Wake County manager David Cooke crunched the numbers for commissioners Monday afternoon. Here are some of the highlights as to how the

$634 million budget

breaks down:

  • 33 percent goes toward education.
  • 26 percent goes to human services.
  • 5.5 percent goes to the sheriff's department, which will not be able to hire more deputies.
  • While the school system gets what it requested, some arts programs face a 3-percent cut in funding. County leaders will also need to raise fees. The monthly 911 charge on residential phone bills would rise from 12 to 25 cents.

    Fees tied to emergency services and development may also be increased.

    "That includes the EMS special events fees, so when they go to special events, the fees we charge to have an ambulance there, we raised that," Cooke said.

    Developers will get hit with two new fees, one for inspections and another to study traffic.

    "Right now, we're starting to do traffic impact analysis for new subdivisions. We want to see what impact new development will have on traffic, so we'll charge a fee for that analysis, and there's some fees related to when we inspect on-site septic systems," Cooke said.

    Even with those new fees, the county will have to borrow from savings to make up a budget shortfall. Cooke said that is a one-time strategy, and he warns that commissioners may face some tough decisions next year.