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County Manager Jim Hartmann presented a $1.26 billion recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2018 – which runs from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018 – to the Wake County Board of Commissioners at its regular meeting on May 15, 2017. The budget represents an increase of $61.4 million over the FY17 budget and would require a 1.45-cent property tax increase for a total proposed rate of 61.5 cents for every $100 of property value.

How would this proposed tax increase affect me?
The average cost of a home in Wake County is $270,000. The owner of a home at that price point would see a $39 increase in property taxes.

What will this recommendation do?
The proposed budget would allow the county to:

  • Respond to workload demands for quality county services;
  • Attract, retain and equip a highly-skilled workforce;
  • Leverage partnerships to achieve social and economic vitality; and
  • Continue a strong investment in education.

How much funding is included for the Wake County Public Schools System?
The Wake County Public School System is the largest recipient of funding from Wake County. Its operating budget appropriation, along with capital and debt costs, make up 52 percent of the county’s total recommended budget for FY18.

The county manager’s recommendation proposes increasing operating funding for WCPSS by $16 million for a total county appropriation of $426 million. This would result in a 2.5-percent increase in per-pupil funding for a total contribution of $2,633 per student. That would be the highest per-pupil funding in county history even after adjusting for inflation.

With this proposed additional funding, Wake County will have increased its operating appropriation for the school system by 30 percent over four budgets.

What are the other key areas funded in this recommended budget?
Significant areas the budget addresses include:

  • Supporting strategies to improve employee retention and recruitment in agencies that provide critical public safety services, including the Wake County Sheriff’s Office and Wake County Emergency Medical Services;

  • Adding positions to help protect the public from communicable disease outbreaks of emerging threats like Zika or reemerging diseases like measles or mumps;

  • Addressing the demand for services directly related to growth and development such as plan reviews, and food, lodging and septic system inspections;

  • Funding IT infrastructure and tools for county government to deliver better and faster service in all areas of the county;

  • Budgeting for an average three-percent performance pay increase for eligible county employees, and meeting the costs of rising employee health insurance;

  • Providing direct funding to 10 non-profit partner agencies working on programs and initiatives including pre-kindergarten education, school food pantries and public art; and

  • Investing an additional $1.5 million in Wake Technical Community College, the state’s largest community college, for a total county operating appropriation of $21.2 million.

What are the next steps in the budget development process?
Members of the public are invited to share their thoughts on the recommended budget at public hearings on June 5 during the 2 p.m. Wake County Board of Commissioners meeting or at 7 p.m. at the Wake County Commons Building.

The commissioners are scheduled to adopt a Fiscal Year 2018 budget at their 2 p.m. meeting on June 19.

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