County Commissioners Adopt Budget; No Tax Increase

County Commissioners Adopt  Budget; No Tax Increase

County Commissioners Adopt Budget; No Tax Increase Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 18 June 2019 23:49

NEW HANOVER CTY - On June 17, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners adopted a $399 million balanced budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019-2020 that focuses on investments in education, public safety, economic development and the community – both now and in the years to come. The adopted budget maintains the current county-wide tax rate of 55.5 cents per $100 of value, making it three years in a row that the county has either reduced or maintained the tax rate.

The Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget advances the priorities set by the Board of Commissioners in the county’s strategic plan, and among other initiatives, the budget:

• Provides $116.2 million to support public schools, which is a 6.9% increase in funding from last year. Read about the county’s funding to public schools here.
• Transitions the responsibility of the Forensic Lab to New Hanover County from the City of Wilmington, with a 60/40 cost-sharing arrangement with the city.
• Funds more than $3.3 million in strategic economic development initiatives that will encourage private investment, bring more diverse and higher-wage jobs, and enhance quality of life.
• Invests in workforce housing in partnership with the City of Wilmington, including $45,000 for a workforce housing study and survey.
• Supports 29 human services community partners, as recommended by the Non-County Agency Funding Committee, for a total of $977,000.
• Includes debt service payments for the construction of the Healing Place substance use treatment center.
• Maintains the fire services tax rate for residents in the unincorporated county at 7.75 cents and also keeps the landfill tip fee at $48 per ton.
• Provides a market and merit salary increase for all eligible county employees.

“The adopted budget is a statement of the board’s priorities and their commitment to the community,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “It proactively addresses needs that we have now and looks to the future to ensure we are more resilient. It begins to replenish the county’s fund balance, which was affected by Hurricane Florence, and strategically funds important initiatives like the opioid crisis, workforce housing and public education.”

The recommended budget was presented to the board on May 20 and a public hearing on the budget was held Monday, June 3. The Board of Commissioners approved the recommended budget with few changes on Monday, June 17. The adopted budget in brief will be available on the Finance website by Monday, June 24.
Source: New Hanover County.

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