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Wake County News > Posts > Budget Reaches $1 Billion as Population Reaches One Million
May 19
Budget Reaches $1 Billion as Population Reaches One Million
Wake County Manager Jim Hartmann presented the County's $1.063 billion fiscal year (FY) 2015 recommended budget to the Board of Commissioners during its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, May 19, 2014. The budget will exceed $1 billion for the first time with the population of the County expected to exceed one million people in 2015.

"The local economy continues to improve: building permits are up, unemployment is down and sales tax continues to recover," said Hartmann. "All these trends support increased revenues that provide the opportunity to fund high-priority initiatives."

A key component of the budget is a 4.4-cent tax increase, dedicated to the $983.8 million Wake County Public School System (WCPSS) 2013 building program that was approved by the public in October 2013.

"When the bond was placed on the ballot last fall, voters were told that as much as a 4.86-cent tax increase would be required to pay for the debt and capital cost of the program," said Hartmann. "We have reviewed the County's debt and capital planning assumptions, which have improved since the original estimate for the bond, and it is possible to fulfill our commitment at 0.46 cents less than originally planned."

The FY 2015 recommended budget is 8.1 percent more than the FY 2014 budget and provides funding for the Board of Commissioners' focus areas of Education, Public Safety, and Community Health and Vitality.

Education
Of the $10.4 million recommended increase for education in FY 2015, $10.1 million – 3.1 percent more than last year – is recommended for the Wake County Public School System, and $287,062 is recommended for Wake Technical Community College.

Public Safety
  • Expanded ambulance service and staff for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to keep pace with population growth.
  • New blood/alcohol analysis equipment and chemists for the City-County Bureau of Identification (CCBI) to accommodate increased driving while impaired (DWI) cases.
  • Courthouse security and critical technology infrastructure for the Sheriff's Office.
Community Health and Vitality
  • Two staff to ensure that restaurants, hotels, childcare facilities and nursing homes meet sanitation guidelines.
  • Six additional staff for child protective services and adult guardianship cases.
  • Ten school health nurses to provide health services in underserved areas.
  • Seven staff to support increased development in the County.
  • Continue enhanced staffing level, both permanent and temporary, to meet Food and Nutrition and Medicaid eligibility goals.
The Board of Commissioners took no formal action on the budget Monday, other than to accept it for review. The budget process includes public hearings and a Board of Commissioners' work session prior to the Board's adoption of the budget. The schedule is as follows:

Public Hearings Work Session Board Consideration and Formal Action View copies of the budget, a video of the County Manager's presentation and other related materials. The public is invited to give feedback about the budget at one of the two public hearings or by emailing budget@wakegov.com.

The Board of Commissioners developed strategic focus areas and goals and objectives earlier this year. See a full listing of the Boards' goals and objectives for 2014.

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