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Wake County budget plan has 10% property tax hike

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RALEIGH — Wake County’s property tax rate would increase by nearly 10 percent this summer under a proposed annual budget revealed Monday by County Manager David Ellis.

The tax increase would largely pay for new investments in schools and education, as well as projects approved by voters in a bond referendum in November.

Property taxes would increase by 6.36 cents to a rate of 71.8 percent for every $100 in assessed value. The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an additional $64 a year.

“I’ve spent the past year in my new role analyzing the demand for the core county services we provide to the public,” Ellis said in a statement. “My budget recommendation reflects the priority needs we must address to deliver those services at the level our growing population expects and as state regulations require.”

The $1.47 billion spending plan includes $507 million for the Wake County Public School System, an increase of $36.5 million from the current fiscal year. Another $548 million would fund school construction projects approved by voters last year.

Ellis also budgets $349 million for Wake Tech infrastructure improvements and $120 million for parks, recreation and greenways — both projects approved by voters.

The bond projects alone required a 3.8 cent increase in the property tax rate, Ellis said. The remaining tax increase would fund county operating expenses.

The budget also funds 20 additional EMT and paramedic positions, 14 new positions at the county’s child welfare division, and additional funds for the Wake County Board of Education.

Citizens will have two opportunities to provide feedback on the proposed budget before commissioners vote to adopt a budget June 3. Both public hearings will be May 20.

The first will take place during the 2 p.m. board of commissioners meeting at the Wake County Justice Center. The second will be held at 7 p.m. at the Wake County Commons Building.

Citizens can go to wakegov.com to view the full budget proposal.

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