Raleigh, Durham approve 2011 budgets

RALEIGH The City of Raleigh's budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year is set at $619,728,508. The budget is slated to reduce recurring expenses, maintain the property tax rate and solid waste, stormwater and privilege license fees.

The budget will also eliminate 24 vacant positions, will share rising City health-care costs with employees, and reduce the traditional level of employee compensation increases.

Eleven positions are cut from the Solid Waste Services Department. The implementation of new automated curbside recycling will allow for these reductions in staffing without a reduction in service.

Five positions are eliminated in the Public Works Department. Other position reductions include: three civilian positions in the Police Department; three landscape position in Parks and Recreation; one position in the Planning Department and one in Personnel.

The budget does, however, include the addition of 11 new positions. They are, two for the Information Technology Department to support post implementation of the City's Enterprise Resource Planning system; seven positions for the Parks and Recreation Department to support new facilities, City Plaza events and the City's public art program; and two positions for the Convention Center to support the new Raleigh Amphitheatre and Festival Site.

The complete budget can be seen on the City of Raleigh website www.raleighnc.gov

Meanwhile, the Durham Board of County Commissioners also approved their budget for 2010-2011 fiscal year. The new budget, effective July 1, includes a tax increase that will help save jobs for Durham Public Schools and increased funding for debt service.

In the new fiscal year, pass-through funding will no longer be budgeted in Durham County's General Fund, so the change decreases the overall General Fund budget to $343.55 million.

Increased funding for DPS is the largest portion of a 3.78 cent property tax rate increase. The property tax rate for fiscal year 2010-2011 will be 74.59 cents; 3.07 cents of the increase will support an increase to DPS' current expense funding and 0.71 cents will support debt service for the county.

Durham County's tax rate increase to 74.59 cents per $100 valuation means that a resident will pay $37.80 more per year in property taxes on a $100,000 home. Therefore, a $100,000 home will yield a $745.90 property tax bill.

The increase to DPS' current expense funding supports 185 teaching positions that were slated for elimination. Of those positions 12 were reduced to half time positions. To make this funding possible the BOCC and Board of Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding enabling the county to use $6,070,000 of lottery funds to support school related debt service and free an equivalent amount of property tax to support DPS' current expense funding.

Changes to fees issued by the county are also included in the new budget.

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