Public weighs in on Wake County manager’s proposed budget

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The public is weighing in on the proposed budget recommended by the Wake County manager.

It’s a budget that would include a property tax hike and more money for the Wake County Public School System.

More than a dozen people talked to Wake County Commissioners at the first of two public hearings on the budget Monday.

The majority of those who spoke talked about money for the school system.

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They want to see commissioners fully fund the Wake County school system’s budget request.

“Good teachers leave for better opportunities,” said Raleigh resident Susan Parry. “High quality administrators become scarce and parents begin to look at other options.”

“Please give the Wake County School Board the full amount they’ve asked for,” said Karey Harwood, Raleigh resident.

Wake Schools asked the county for an extra $45 million of funding this coming fiscal year. County Manager Jim Hartmann’s budget proposal would fund about a third of that, $16 million more. It also would come with a 1.45-cent property tax increase.

For a $270,000 home, the average value of a home in Wake County, that’s an extra $39 a year.

We talked with some county residents, including Charity Miner, who teaches her children at home, who don’t want to see that increase.

“If the county can’t work with the budget that it’s already got, we would like for them to try to figure that out before adding more money,” said Miner.

Others said the money is more than worth it.

“We have a low tax rate for a county of our size and wealth, so I think we can muster up the will to find a way to adequately fund our public schools,” said Patty Williams, a Raleigh resident who spoke at the public hearing on the budget.

County Commission Vice Chair Matt Calabria said it is very important to hold the public hearings to get feedback on the budget proposal. He also said it is difficult to keep everyone happy when drafting the county budget.

County commissioners will review the public comments and work on the budget next Monday. They will vote on the budget in two weeks.

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