Wake County's proposed budget being dissected


Wake County commissioners met Monday morning in an effort to match available money with requests for support for libraries, the arts and public schools.

"The Wake County Board of Commissioners is fully funding the budget request made by the Board of Education," Chairman Joe Bryan said. "That's not tight fisted, that's following the request that was made of our board.

Bryan's comments come after a News and Observer editorial that said "Republicans who control the Wake County Board of Commissioners are taking a tough line on more funds for the growing district."

He said the board's request is modest.

"Recognizing the tight economic climate here for the last few years and also recognizing that we're asking the public to support an $810 million school bond issue this fall that will lead to a property tax increase of a little more than $.05 cents," he said.

However, there are still big fiscal challenges for education.

"The schools are having some very serious impacts coming down in terms of what's going on with the state and the federal government," Wake County commissioner Caroline Sullivan said. "We have to remember there are also sequestration cuts coming down in special education that are going to be substantial."

Commissioners have also talked about redeploying some resources, meaning some libraries could be closed or reduced in favor of expanding libraries elsewhere in the county.

Budget discussions are expected to continue into next week.

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