Durham News

Durham budget $373M for 2012-13

Without discussion, the Durham City Council approved a $373 million budget for 2012-13 Monday night, an increase of $10.5 million over the current fiscal year.

The council had settled on the budget after a public hearing and several prolonged meetings over the past three weeks. At its regular meeting Monday, the budget passed unanimously along with 41 other items on the council’s consent agenda.

“The citizens of Durham should be proud and appreciative of the work this council has done, as well as the (city) administration to shape this budget,” said Mayor Bill Bell.

Durham taxpayers face a 1-cent increase in their property-tax rate next year, to 56.75 cents per $100 valuation. The increase adds $25 to the tax on a $250,000 house.

The extra penny, dedicated for low-cost housing and services for the homeless, is projected to bring in $2.3 million next year. Durham has planned a five-year, $57-million program of housing construction and improvements, with associated social services.

Downtown property owners also face a 7-cent tax increase to pay for promotions, special events and hospitality services in a “Business Improvement District.”

Finally, stormwater fees paid by property owners are increasing and city water customers will see a rate increase in the future. The fees will rise on a gradual schedule, mostly to pay for compliance with water-quality regulations in the Falls Lake and Jordan Lake watersheds.