Raleigh considers raising taxes, fees

June 23, 2008 2:56:28 PM PDT
Raleigh residents face a possible one-two punch when it comes to fees and taxes.

The city council met Monday, and on the table: a tax increase as well as higher water and sewer fees.

Raleigh's budget for next year will total almost $643 million.

It will increase a property tax increase of 4 cents, which is 1 cent lower than originally proposed. But that does amount to a 12 percent Raleigh city property tax increase.

Public safety is a big ticket item on a Raleigh property tax increase.

City leaders want to build a new $226 million center for the police and fire departments where the current police department head quarters sit now.

Raleigh would also build a new fire station, hire 12 new police officers, and raise starting salaries for police and firefighters by 5 percent.

Raleigh would also raise water and sewer rates by 15 percent, or about $58 a year for the average residence.

That's partly to pay for new water treatment plants, but also to make up for lost revenue due to citizen water conservation.

"To be a first rate city, to be the kind of place where people want to come to, where you are going to have your economy grow, you really can't be closing parks, or laying off police officers, that's not smart. And that's not what this council wants to do," Mayor of Raleigh Charles Meeker said. "We're going to be careful because of the economy, but we're going to keep our basic services in place."


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