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Raleigh budget will grow 6.6 percent in 2015

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

The Raleigh City Council voted 7-1 Monday to approve a city budget for fiscal year 2015 of $754,208,491 which is 6.6 percent more than the current budget.

The new budget goes into effect July 1 and ends June 30.

“Population and service demand growth have rebounded since the Great Recession and, with the FY15 budget, Raleigh is investing additional operating and significant capital revenues in the highest return for our community,” said Ruffin Hall, who was hired as Raleigh’s city manager this year. “This includes prioritizing the maintenance and restoration of our capital infrastructure, while also adding police officers, opening a fire station, and expanding parks, recreation and cultural resources to respond to the needs of our vibrant, growing community.”

The budget includes a 2.12-cent property tax increase, bringing Raleigh’s property tax rate to 40.38 cents per $100 tax property valuation, the city said in a news release.

One cent of the property tax increase will expand the street resurfacing program of $5.15 million annually to a total of $7.2 million. Raleigh maintains 1,055 miles of streets and the city said the increase funds the repaving of approximately 30 miles of streets annually. This allows the City to resurface 2.8 percent of the total miles annually, moving toward the goal of 5 percent a year, which allows for all city streets to be resurfaced every 15 to 20 years, the city said.

A property tax rate increase of 1.12 cents per $100 tax valuation was approved through the Oct. 8, 2013 transportation bond referendum.

The budget also includes an increase in the Solid Waste Services fee of $1 per month for residential customers. This increase amounts to an additional $1.4 million annually.

An increase of 4.4 percent in sewer rates, along with an infrastructure replacement charge based on meter size to help fund the replacement of aging infrastructure of the water distribution and waste water systems also is part of the budget. This amounts to an increase of $4.27 per month for a single-family residential customer using 6 CCFs of water during that time.

The budget also:

· Increases asphalt and sidewalk crews from six to eight, which is how many Raleigh had before the recession.

· Adds nine police officer positions.

· Adds three inspector positions and funds overtime expenses.

· Adds 41 facilities to staff a new fire station on Leesville Road as well as multiple other initiatives.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

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