Wake County leaders approve 10 percent property tax increase by 6-1 vote

Commissioner Sig Hutchinson voted against the 6.63-cent property tax rate increase. – Excerpts from the News Observer article June 3, 2019

Wake County leaders voted Monday night to raise the property tax rate beyond what the manager recommended in order to give the Wake County Public School System more money.

Wake County’s new property tax rate will be 72.07 cents per $100 of assessed property value, a 6.63-cent or roughly 10.13 percent increase.

County Manager David Ellis had recommended a property tax rate increase of 6.36 cents per $100 to cover the $1.47 billion budget.

The budget gives the school system $45 million in additional funding. WCPSS had requested $48.3 million in new funding, and Ellis had recommended $36.5 million in new funding.

Holmes and fellow Commissioners Greg Ford, James West, VIckie Adamson, Matt Calabria and Susan Evans voted for the budget. Commissioner Sig Hutchinson voted against it.

“To me it does not represent responsible government,” Hutchinson said. “I believe it is too much, it is too fast and it will negatively impact our seniors and vulnerable community. I do believe in incremental tax increases, but I believe this is too much.”

The additional money for the school system over the manager’s recommendation comes from a couple of places within the budget including $3 million from the county’s savings, called a fund balance, an additional 0.27 cents on the property tax rate and a $500,000 decrease in county operations.

Another $1 million came from the county’s Department of Human Services’ revenue from the state. Wake County learned the department would receive more money from the state and federal governments, freeing county money for something else.

Hutchinson urged keeping the money within the department to help the county’s most vulnerable residents and said if board members wanted to increase funding for education, they should do it with a tax increase.

“This tax increase is going to negatively impact our vulnerable communities, particularity in southeast Raleigh,” he said. “There are seniors who are on a fixed income.”

Read the full article, Click Here.

See the full budget with explanation on the Wake County Government site by clicking here.