Wake County

Taxes up, parking fees up, bike program nixed as Raleigh mints budget

The city of Raleigh unanimously approved its budget on Monday, though debate on a few items continued into the Raleigh City Council’s last meeting on the spending document.

The budget, which takes effect July 1, includes a tax increase of 1.72 cents per $100 in property valuation, or about $92 per year for someone who owns a home worth $200,000. That money will fund debt for parks.

Meanwhile, the final plan includes no funding for a bike-share program. The idea of the program, which would make bikes available for rent at stations throughout the city, debuted to excitement this year. But the council voted 6-2 to deny $420,000 in funding to get the program off the ground.

Without that money set aside, the city likely will lose a $2 million federal grant it had secured for the program, according to Councilman Bonner Gaylord.

“If we don't earmark the money, the grant’s gone,” he said. The city would need about $220,000 per year in sponsorships and other fundraising to operate the program; it would have had until April to raise the initial money, Gaylord said.

The vote to deny funding to the program split 6-2, with Gaylord and Councilman Russ Stephenson dissenting.

Meanwhile, the council agreed to institute a new downtown parking fee. Beginning Dec. 31, users will pay $5 for night and weekend access to downtown decks.

Councilwoman Mary-Ann Baldwin and Councilwoman Kay Crowder voted against the idea of the fee. The council has asked staff to consider ways to lessen the fee’s impact on service workers.

Kenney: 919-829-4870;

Twitter: @KenneyNC

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