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Raleigh city manager wants to hold the line on taxes. Here’s what’s in his plan.

10 percent property tax increase? Where will the increase go?

The Wake County Board of Commissioners will consider County Manager David Ellis’ proposed $1.47B budget for the fiscal year. The proposed budget includes a 9.7% property tax increase and more money for Wake County Public School Systems.
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The Wake County Board of Commissioners will consider County Manager David Ellis’ proposed $1.47B budget for the fiscal year. The proposed budget includes a 9.7% property tax increase and more money for Wake County Public School Systems.

Raleigh’s $1.04 billion proposed budget does not include a property tax rate increase.

It’s the first time in five years the city has recommended a budget with no change in the property tax rate.

The current rate is 43.82 cents per $100 valuation, meaning the owner of a home with a $300,000 tax value would pay $1,314.60 in city property taxes.

“Our intent was to stabilize what we’ve got, strengthen our core functions and look to getting ourselves prepared to manage for the future,” City Manager Ruffin Hall said

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A winter skyline view of downtown Raleigh, N.C. on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

Raleigh leaders got their first official look at the budget Tuesday.

The average water and sewer residential customer would see see a 75 cent per month increase to the sewer “base charge” bringing the total to $7.61 per month.

“Balancing a city budget is never easy, and this year’s budget process presented unique challenges as the service demands and growth pressures are outpacing our revenue growth,” Hall said in his budget message to the council. “We took this opportunity to strengthen our foundation, prioritizing our commitments to employees and the community above the demands for new and expanded services.”

The proposed budget also includes changes to the city’s parking fees. On-street parking would increase by 25 cents per hour while the monthly fee for parking in a city’s owned parking deck would increase to $125 per month. Monthly reserved parking spots would go up to $190 per month and surface lots would be $60 to $80 per month. Those increases would create about $1.2 million in more money for the city to “support future partnerships and investments in parking infrastructure.”

The public hearing for the budget is set for 7 p.m. June 4, at the Raleigh Municipal Building in downtown.

Raleigh property owners also pay a county tax. County Manager David Ellis’ proposed budget would raise the county tax rate 10 percent to 71.8 cents per $100 of assessed property value, though the county commissioners could reduce that in the coming weeks.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights from the proposed city budget:

  • $13.6 million planned for the city’s affordable housing efforts
  • $180.8 million for infrastructure maintenance of the city’s water and sewer system
  • $37.2 million for the New Bern Bus Rapid Transit work and other items in the Wake Transit Work Plan. Plus $11 million for “general transit projects.”
  • Ups the city’s living wage to $30,340 to $32,090
  • City employees could see merit pay increases ranging from 3% to 5% or 1% to 6% depending on their job.
  • Replaces two fire engines and water and trench rescue equipment
  • Hires two new employees in the planning and development services departments to “respond to growth pressures.” The budget also proposes two new employees in engineering services and parks, recreation and cultural resources, both to address city-owned facilities.
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