Durham city budget proposal includes tax hike

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A proposed property tax increase in Durham would be used to assist in affordable housing.

At Monday night’s council meeting, City Manager Tom Bonfield proposed a 1.79 cent tax increase for next year’s budget.

This would be roughly $32 more per year for a home valued at $180,000.

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The budget $429.4 million plan is a 6.1 percent increase from last year, and includes a $189.4 million for services covered by the general fund, a nearly 5 percent increase from last year, the city said in a news release.

The city’s budget plan has 53 new positions including 30 new firefighters to staff Station #17 in southeast Durham, according to city officials.

Also included is nearly $1.7 million in funds for the Durham police Take-Home Car program, which encourages officers to live in Durham neighborhoods

The budget plan also funds replacing and upgrading electronic equipment for programs such as the police body-worn cameras, officials said.

Bonfield wants to add money to the city’s budget.. To help “Durham Community Land Trustees” that help low income people find affordable housing to rent or buy – a struggle Earl Bradley knows all too well.

“It’s just ridiculous and it’s hard and I think that would be good if they increase and make and build more affordable housing,” Bradley said.

Bradley has been renting a unit fixed up by the Land Trustees.

The proposed budget adds an extra penny to the city’s dedicated housing fund.

That’s a value of $2.79 million.

That, combined with federal entitlements and the existing penny from the tax rate brings the city’s affordable housing fund to nearly $9 million.

After a public hearing on June 5, final budget approval is set for June 19 by the Durham City Council.

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