Durham budget proposal includes 2-cent property tax hike, $9 million more in public safety funding

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – The budget recommended for the City of Durham would include a 2-cent raise in the property tax rate — most of which would go toward an affordable housing bond voters passed in 2019, a news release said Monday.

The budget was recommended by city manager Wanda Page at Monday’s city council meeting.

Of the 2-cent increase to the property tax, 1.38 cents would service the debt from the $95 million affordable housing bond. Another 0.50 cents would fund green and equitable infrastructure projects. The remaining 0.12 cents would go toward the general fund, the release said.

The proposed tax rate would mean a tax bill of about $1,291 per year for a median-value home of just under $234,000.

Page also recommended a new Community Safety Department, which would work closely with existing public safety departments like police, fire, and emergency communications. The new department would “implement pilot projects to explore alternative responses to issues that may not need armed police presence,” the release said.

The proposed 2021-22 budget would feature more than $9 million in additional funding for public safety.

It would also take on oversight of the $1 million investment in programs like the Bull City United Violence Interruption Program, Project BUILD, and the Gan Intervention Strategy Initiative, the release said.

The entire budget can be read online. A virtual public hearing is scheduled for June 7 at 7 p.m. Final budget approval is set for June 21.

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