Local Politics

Wake County to cut 100 jobs, including at libraries, animal shelter to meet $1.47 billion budget without property tax increase

Posted June 15, 2020 6:26 p.m. EDT

Wake County Budget

The Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday finalized a $1.47 billion budget for 2020-21 that holds the line on property taxes but increases spending for public schools, EMS and nonprofit groups.

In order to make that happen, the county will cut more than 100 full- and part-time jobs, requiring schedule adjustments at public libraries and the Wake County Animal Center.

The commissioners added $1.78 million to the budget proposed by County Manager David Ellis, but the 20-21 budget still represents a $7.9 decrease from what was allotted for 2019-2020.

“COVID-19 has dramatically changed our financial picture for the coming year, reducing our projected revenue by $29 million,” Board Chairman Greg Ford said. “However, by using creative funding options, we are able to continue to fund our public schools at historic levels and support community organizations that serve our most vulnerable residents during this challenging time.”

The county increased its contribution to the Wake County Public School System by $11.95 million to a total of $527.9 million, or an estimated $2,932 per pupil. It also added $534,000 to spending on Emergency Medical Services and $1.25 million for community organizations to "support programs that benefit our most vulnerable residents and initiatives that enrich our community."

The budget also increases fees for annual swimming pool permits – from $275 to $300 – and for civil fingerprinting services – from $15 to $30.

The county also allotted $14.1 million from the federal CARES Act – the pandemic relief fund – to reimburse Wake public schools for the purchase of technology devices and wireless access to support remote learning.

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