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Council approves new budget, property tax hike

The Durham City Council approved its $353.3 million budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year Monday.

The new budget represents an increase of 2.2 percent from last year’s $345.6 million figure. The proposed General Fund budget, which finances the city’s core services, is $206 million—a 0.4 percent increase from the 2009-2010 fiscal year. The full preliminary budget for the city is available online at

The county faced a $10.8 million deficit at the beginning of this year’s budget process, according to WRAL. Raising the property tax rate by 1.19 cents will bring the total property tax rate to 55.19 cents per $100 of the assessed value, said City Manager Tom Bonfield. Because the average home value in the city is $161,200, the increase will raise the average annual tax bill by $19.24.

Bonfield noted that the property tax increase allows the city to continue to fund voter-approved bond projects and aid Durham Area Transit, which will undergo a transition to new management by Triangle Transit.

The budget will also result in the laying off of 16 employees and the elimination of 17 vacant jobs in the city, according to WRAL.

Council and community priorities for the next fiscal year include public safety, quality core services, youth programs and activities, improved infrastructure, deferred maintenance, neighborhood engagement and revitalization, jobs and neighborhood economic development and timely capital project delivery, according to the budget proposal.


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