The $1.47 billion spending plan includes a 6.36 cent increase in property taxes made for a lively hearing. At one point Wake Commission Chair Jessica Holmes stopped the hearing to admonish the audience for their boos and cheers that disrupted speakers.
"What we will not do today is be disrespectful." - Wake Board Chair Jessica Holmes laid out the rules after anti-tax hike people loudly disrupted someone speaking in favor of added tax dollars to #WCPSS. #abc11 #nced pic.twitter.com/oMqn1iHdr6— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) May 20, 2019
Some taxpayers who opposed to the tax increase shouted and hoisted signs reading "No Tax Hike" and '"Cut Costs First."
On the other side of the room sat a large number of Wake County parents and teachers, wearing red for education, loudly applauding each speaker who spoke in favor of fully funding Wake schools' $48.9 million budget request.
As it stands now, Wake County Manager David Ellis is proposing to give WCPSS $36.5 million in additional funding in FY2020.
The opposition says the county is not doing enough to manage current tax dollars.
"This 10% tax hike is really out of my family's budget." ---— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) May 20, 2019
Sizeable portion of tonight's Wake Co. budget public hearing is here to voice opposition to proposed property tax hike. #abc11 pic.twitter.com/w4OaYtsuGs
"Given the current budget or current tax increase of property values or the percentage already increased...do we really need to have a budget with that high a percentage increase?" Yi Zeng said to commissioners.
Those in favor of the tax hike said they were happy to pay more in exchange for better schools, parks and services.
"It is a joy to spend a little more to know that we will have better schools." --— Joel Brown (@JoelBrownABC11) May 20, 2019
Wake teachers wearing #RedForEd along with many parents are here pushing Wake commissioners to fully fund #WCPSS budget request. #abc11 #nced pic.twitter.com/sT8o43iUX7
"The real fear in the voices of our school board representatives is what is going to get cut this year because of pressures from the state and the funding. However much you're giving is not completely adequate to the needs of the school system," said Renee Seagal, a Wake parent and PTA member.
Of the 6.36 cent property tax increase, more than half of it goes toward funding the three bonds approved by county voters last November; 3.8 cents toward the bonds, 2.56 cents toward other Wake County needs including the schools.
Monday night's public hearing along with an afternoon session marks the only chance for taxpayers to weigh on the budget.
Commissioners will now take what they heard into consideration before a final budget vote June 3.