Wake County’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year includes spending increases, raises for employees and expanded library hours, but taxes will remain the same.
County Manager David Cooke Monday proposed a $982.8 million spending plan, a 4.7 percent increase from the current budget.
The property tax rate of 53.4 cents will remain the same. The 2013-14 fiscal year begins July 1. Learn more about the 2013-14 county budget.
The county experienced an increase in sales and property taxes, income from more people moving into the county and more people spending money as the recession slowly recedes.
Property tax revenue has increased 2.7 percent, which Cooke said will generate about $20 million for the county.
Changes in how vehicle tax revenues are collected with add an additional $12.5 million, but it will come as a one-time payment.
“This is the third year in a row that we are seeing increases in sales tax revenue,” Cooke said. Sales tax revenue is expected to grow 6 percent this year and county officials are looking at an increase of 3 percent for next fiscal year, for a possible $11.3 million.
The spending plan increased funding in some departments that underwent cuts during the recession.
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Overall, 76 new positions have been added to the budget. Despite that, Cooke said there are 136 less positions from last year because the county is no longer managing behavioral health care services.
“The recommended budget includes a 2.75 percent performance-based pay increase for employees,” Cooke said.
The cost of employee health care continues to increase, but Cooke said staff doesn’t anticipate additional costs for the county or employee premiums this year. An additional $1.2 million was included for retiree healthcare costs.
Commissioners are expected to adopt the budget at their June 17 meeting and will review the document more closely at a June 10 budget work session.
Wake County Public Schools will get $327.5 million, which is $9.2 million more than the current budget.
Wake residents will also vote on a $939.9 million school bond that, if approved, will fund capital projects throughout the district. The bond will fund the construction of 16 new schools and renovations for six existing schools. The money would also be spent on technology and security initiatives.
Wake Tech will not see an increase in funding and its budget allocation remains the same at $16.2 million.
Some Department Increases
- Library hours were cut in 2010 to avoid closures.
- Hours for most of the libraries will be back to what they were prior to the change.
- About five staff positions will also be added.
- 20 new detention officers for five additional posts at the Hammond Road Detention Center.
- Hourly wage increase for 12-hour-shift officers.
- School Resource Officer at Rolesville Middle School.
- New ambulances.
- 18 full-time positions, plus one additional trainer and supervisor.
- $3.5 million increase (11.7 percent).
City-County Bureau of Identification (Crime Lab)
- Funding for supplies and materials to meet standards for International Organization for Standardization accreditation.
- Covert two part-time fingerprint examiners to full time.
- Temporary personnel and overtime for existing staff for coverting 79,000 paper case files to a digital system.
- Six new staff members for Child Support Enforcement and one for Adult Guardianship program.
- Three positions to expand collaboration at WakeMed.
- Budget increases by $470,000 (7 percent).
- One new employee to work with residents and agencies concerning contaminated wells and groundwater.
- Three new employees at the Wake County animal shelter.
- Three positions will be added back to the Register of Deeds Department. Four were cut during the recession.
- One new inspector for the inspections department.
- Three new positions and a business auditor will be added in the Revenue Department.