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On June 4, the Wake County Board of Commissioners adopted a $1.3 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which runs from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. It includes historic investments in education and housing affordability. 

A Historic Investment in Education

The adopted budget will provide $475.9 million in operating funds to the Wake County Public School System – a $45 million increase over Fiscal Year 2018 and a $14.9 million increase over the recommendation County Manager David Ellis made on May 9.

It would also provide WCPSS with per-pupil funding of $2,702 – the highest amount ever. 

Of that funding, $2 million is reserved to fund school counselors, social workers and psychologists per a board amendment to the recommended budget.

The county’s total annual investment in the school district is a record-setting $711.8 million for operating and capital spending. Overall, about 53 percent of the county’s FY19 General Fund budget would fund Wake County Public Schools.

In school funding relationships in North Carolina, the county serves as the banker, with the Board of Education having full discretion over how to spend the funds it receives from the county. The county will look to the school system to use its expertise to determine how best to use this historic investment to support its award-winning teachers, staff and students. 

A Historic Investment in Housing Affordability 

Currently, more than 93,000 Wake County residents are living at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty rate. That means roughly 10 percent of our population lives in poverty. For a household of four, that is wages of less than $25,000 a year. They often struggle to find affordable places to live and may experience homelessness.

To help, the adopted budget will invest an additional $15 million a year to build and preserve housing in Wake County that working families can afford. This recurring funding will also support opening a shelter for single women without children and back a county commitment to effectively end veteran homelessness by December 2021.

Over the first five years, this investment will generate $75 million for housing affordability. It represents a 338-percent increase in funding in this area from FY18 to FY19.

Does the budget proposal include a tax increase?

Yes. The adopted budget will fund these historic investments in education and housing affordability with a 3.94-cent property tax increase, which will bring the county’s property tax rate to 65.44 cents for every $100 of property value. The tax increase will generate about $56.5 million in FY19.

Under this budget, a property owner will pay an extra $39 in property taxes for every $100,000 of assessed value. Therefore, the owner of a $300,000 home, for example, would pay an additional $117 in property taxes.

Additional Budget Highlights

The adopted budget also includes:

  • Funding for Wake Technical Community College to hire faculty and staff for its new RTP campus, which is scheduled to open for regular classes in August;

  • Program funding to better coordinate access to mental health and psychiatric services for people with behavioral health needs, including school-aged children;  

  • Investments in county operations to honor financial commitments; meet growing demands for services and programs; mitigate risks; and address emerging needs. Efforts include opening new libraries, adding ambulances to Wake County EMS, enhancing the county’s cybersecurity and supporting a comprehensive water supply study; and 

  • Support for 12 nonprofit organizations that positively affect the community in areas such as early childhood education, food security, and arts and culture. This support includes investments of $100,000 for the Boys & Girls Club and $50,000 for the community dental program Wake Smiles—both of which are new additions from the recommended budget.

To learn more, choose from the options below.

FY19 Recommended Budget County Manager's Message News Release
Board Meeting Video

FY19 Adopted Budget

FY19 Recommended Budget

​Videos & Presentations



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