Durham County leaders approve budget that includes property tax hike

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — On Monday the Durham County Commissioners approved a more than $700 million budget.

Approved in the budget is a 1 cent property tax increase. The extra penny is raising the property tax rate from around 71 to 72 cents per $100 of property value. That works out to about a $30 increase for the owner of a $300,000 home.

That penny is going a long way though — it’s expected to generate more than $4 million for the county which they plan to spend on operational funding needs and education.

“I just think that the additional amount of funding we’re giving to Durham schools is excellent,” said Heidi Carter, a Durham County commissioner.

The budget is paying for nearly 50 new full-time positions. Of those, 20 new positions were created to expand Bull City United, a violence reduction initiative.

Other positions include a health care worker for the Durham County Sheriffs Office and two new full-time positions for the Durham County Racial Equity Program.

Nearly $1 million will go toward a homeowner grant program for residents at or below 30 percent of the area’s median income.

The budget will also reinstate pay for performance for county employees. However, the county commissioners are still hoping to tackle other areas of concern in the months ahead, including 9-1-1 call response times.

“I’ve also requested an analysis of our 9-1-1 calls and assessment of county funding for our 9-1-1 center,” said Wendy Jacobs, the vice-chairperson of the county commission.

Still, county leaders feel this budget is a step in the right direction.

“I’m proud we came together on important strategic investments that continue to make Durham County a thriving community,” said Brenda Howerton, chairperson of the county commission.

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