Unlike many other local communities, Wake County is adding 50 new positions, including 24 sheriff's deputies. Instead of raising property taxes, commissioners used nearly $10 million in savings to help preserve school programs.
"Sometimes, you have to do those kinds of things to strike a balance, and that was the way in which we could strike a balance between funding and the tax increase," says county commissioner Linda Coleman.
Commissioners hope a citizens advisory committee will help re-evaluate school funding needs for next year. The new budget also includes a 4.25 percent pay hike for most county employees, including commissioners.