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The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 on June 3 to adopt a $1.47 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020, which includes major investments in education, public health and safety, and quality of life.

The budget provides $515.9 million in operating funds to the Wake County Public School System. That is a $45 million increase from FY19 and $8.5 million increase from what County Manager David Ellis recommended in his proposed budget on May 6.

This marks the first time that the county’s annual contribution to the WCPSS operating budget will exceed half a billion dollars.

The adopted budget also includes the following changes from the recommended budget:

  • An additional increase of 0.27 cents to the county manager’s recommended property tax rate for a total property tax rate of 72.07;

  • Providing two additional staff at the Crosby Garfield Center to support services provided to residents in Southeast Raleigh and Eastern Wake County. This $60,000 increase will be offset by delaying the implementation of Human Services budget expansions; and

  • Adding three schools to the county-supported Universal Breakfast program: Southeast Raleigh Elementary, Rogers Lane Elementary and East Wake Middle. The additional cost of $37,000 will be offset by a $37,000 decrease in estimated county health insurance claims.

FY20 Adopted Budget Highlights

  • Adding five ambulance shifts and hiring 20 EMTs and paramedics to operate them. This investment will help Wake County EMS respond more rapidly to increasing calls for service;

  • Adding 14 new positions to the county’s Child Welfare division to lower the average caseloads for our social workers, enhance their ability to protect our youngest residents and strengthen efforts to help the children in our care find permanent, loving homes;

  • Providing funding to the Wake County Board of Elections, so it can hold the March presidential primary election and operate 11 early voting sites across the county;

  • Investing in IT security upgrades and network improvements to expand protections against ransomware and phishing scams, which can put our data at risk; and

  • Increasing accessibility to our public libraries by opening new and improved libraries in Cary, Fuquay-Varina and Morrisville. This budget will also expand Sunday hours to six more libraries and eliminate late fees for all library patrons.

Explaining the Property Tax Increase

To fund these investments in education, public health and safety, and quality of life, the county’s property tax will increase by 6.63 cents, bringing the rate to 72.07 cents for every $100 of property value.

With the tax increase, a property owner will pay an extra $66.30 in property taxes for every $100,000 of assessed value. For example, the owner of a $300,000 home will pay an additional $16.58 per month or $198.90 annually in property taxes.

It is important to note that of the 6.63-cent increase, 3.8 cents will fund projects identified by the three bonds voters approved in November 2018.

They include the:

·        $548 million WCPSS construction bond;

·        $349 million Wake Tech infrastructure improvements bond; and

·        $120 million parks, recreation, greenways and open space bond.

Of the remaining 2.83 cents, 1.98 cents would fund increases for WCPSS operating needs, and 0.85 cents would fund county operating expenses.

In all, 82% of the 6.63-cent tax increase would fund education. The remaining 18% would fund county needs.

Fiscal Year 2020 runs from July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020. 

To learn more, choose from the options below.

FY20 Recommended Budget County Manager's Message News Release

FY20 Adopted Budget

Adopted Budget Book

FY20 Recommended Budget

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