Durham County passes $966 million budget

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024 5:43PM
Durham County passes $996 million budget
The budget includes a county property tax rate increase of 4.65 cents to 79.87 cents per $100 valuation.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- After weeks of intense debate, Durham County Commissioners have agreed on a $966 million budget for the next fiscal year.

On Monday, the Board of County Commissioners passed the budget by a 4-1 vote.

The budget includes a county property tax rate increase of 4.65 cents to 79.87 cents per $100 valuation.

The budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 is approximately 8.62% more than the previous year's budget.

The board increased the county manager's recommended budget by $10.3 million, with the bulk of that going to Durham Public Schools (DPS).

"It prioritizes education, employee compensation, social services, community prosperity, public safety, and infrastructure improvements -- the pillars upon which a thriving community stands," said Board of County Commissioners Chair Nida Allam. "This budget is more than just numbers on a spreadsheet; it is a reflection of our shared values and priorities as Durhamites."

The new budget provides $208.6 million for DPS, increasing by $20.6 million to support the per pupil amount of $5,368 in direct funding.

Additional DPS funding includes $6.58 million for "certified" salary/benefit increases, $3.95 million for teacher supplement increases, $1.26 million to support master's degree pay, and $8.88 million for "classified" salary increases.

That additional support will come from available American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) money, with $4 million allotted for DPS capital needs and $716,624 for Pre-K support at the new Murray-Massenburg Elementary School. The County is also providing contracted Pre-K support with additional funding of $965,448, increasing total annual funding to $8.89 million.

"With a total of $230 million in funding for Durham Public Schools and Pre-K programs, we are recognizing that education is the key to unlocking opportunities and building a brighter future for our youth," Allam added.

The budget also provides $12.4 million for Durham Technical Community College, a 6.19% increase from the previous year.

"Let me be real for a moment: This budget did not come easily. Faced with lower than usual revenue, our team got creative," Allam said.

Other highlights from the FY 2024-2025 adopted budget include:

  • 3% increase in employee salaries
  • $1.4 million for the Eviction Diversion Program
  • 10 new positions, 8 for the new Youth Home, and 2 for food security programs
  • $845,000 in additional funding for operational needs in the Sheriff's Office
  • $1 million in continued funding for Hayti Reborn Justice Movement

Durham County Fire and Rescue Special Tax District property tax rate decreases 1.5 cents from 14.49 cents per $100 valuation to 12.99 cents. Redwood Fire District property tax rate increased cents from 12.25 cents per $100 valuation to 12.75 cents.

See more details about the budget here.