RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — People who live in Cary will have a chance to have their voices heard at Thursday’s town council meeting when it comes to how the town uses its tax dollars.

Unlike many neighboring municipalities, Cary town staff have proposed a budget that increases spending but does not increase property tax rates.

The total proposed fiscal year 2024 budget for the town is $523.8 million. Within that is a $354 million operating budget — up 8.1 percent from fiscal year 2023. Under the proposed budget, the capital expenditures are up 41.9 percent to $169.7 million.

Town staff said the increased budget maintains existing service levels while investing in housing, public safety, parks, stormwater, and the environment.

Town documents show the real estate tax rate will stay at $0.345 with the solid waste fee staying at $22 per month. However, there is a proposed 3 percent increase to the utility rate. Staff said the increase supports operational costs, capital infrastructure, and debt repayment. The average family of four could expect to pay about $2.57 more per month.

Included in the proposed budget is:

  • $5 million for housing initiatives like Healthy Homes Cary which helps elderly residents pay for home repairs to keep them in their homes.
  • Funding for six new police officer positions and funding a Real-Time Information Center that provides the ability to identify, prevent, monitor, and respond to all public safety risks, including those that are large-scale.
  • Funding for 15 positions for Cary’s downtown park currently under construction.
  • $8.4 million for projects focusing on stormwater mitigation and related improvement.
  • Funding for environmental programs like “Count me in, Cary” which will explore the impact of a changing climate; a rain garden pilot, regional waste reduction efforts, and continued tree plantings.

Thursday’s public hearing is the first of two opportunities for community members to provide feedback on the budget directly to council. The second budget public hearing is scheduled to happen during council’s regular meeting on June 8.

Click here for a detailed look at the proposed fiscal year 2024 budget.