Wake County budget proposes nearly 10 percent property tax increase

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Wake County Manager David Ellis led off his presentation to county commissioners with the bottom line number of his spending plan: Nearly a billion and a half dollars to fund the county.

And yes, that means taxes are going up for you.

The $1.47 billion dollar budget proposal is paid for with a 10 percent property tax increase.

"You have to remember that 3.8 cents of that tax increase were voted on last year for the bond," Ellis said to ABC11 following his presentation.

Wake County voters approved an over $1.1 billion in bond funding in 2018 for construction at Wake schools and Wake Tech.

Now, it's time to pay for it.

More than half of the property tax increase covers the bond spending. Add on another two and a half cents for expanded county spending. It comes out to a 6.36 cent total tax increase.

For homeowners in a $300,000 home - you will pay an extra $16 a month in property taxes, or $192 more a year.

Wake County school parents and teachers were at the meeting as well, some pleading with the commissioners to give the school district exactly what it's asking for.

That did not happen.

The school system requested an additional $48.9 million. The county manager proposed an extra $36.5 million or $12.4 million dollars less.

But Ellis points out it's the first time ever that the county's total contribution to Wake schools has exceeded a half-billion dollars.

"It is the first time and we're trying to make significant allocations to the school system to assist them in doing what they do, continue to do well," Ellis said.

When asked how WCPSS might respond to his budget proposal, Ellis said "Well, this is a multi-step process. So I submit my recommended budget and then there'll be some conversations that take place."

Those conversations begin immediately.

The Wake County School Board meets on Tuesday to make adjustments to its spending plan.

Then on May 20, county commissioners will hold public hearings on their spending plan.

A final vote on the budget is set for June 3.
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