Proposed Orange County budget holds line on tax rate

tgrubb@newsobserver.comMay 16, 2014 

— Interim Orange County Manager Michael Talbert has proposed a $195.6 million budget that gives rougly half of next year’s money to local schools and does not seek a tax increase.

The recommended 2014-15 spending plan, which goes to the Orange County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, is an increase of $7.9 million over this year’s $187.7 million operating budget.

County employees would see a 2 percent pay increase.

The budget also uses $8.5 million in county savings to meet growing needs.

The Orange County Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools have asked the commissioners to increase next year’s local education spending by $6.8 million to $7.8 million. Talbert does not fully fund the requests, and county officials have said that may not be possible without a tax increase or cuts to other programs.

The county’s current property tax rate is 85.8 cents per $100 in assessed value. That amounts to a county property tax bill of $2,574 for the owner of a home valued at $300,000. A penny on the county tax rate is equal to $1.6 million.

The county also sets the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools tax rate, which is 20.84 cents per $100 in property value next year. Chapel Hill and Carrboro residents pay the schools tax, which would generate a bill of $625.20 for the owner of a $300,000 home.

County residents do not pay a school tax.

A penny on the schools tax rate generates roughly $1 million for the city schools. School system officials have asked the commissioners to consider a tax increase. The commissioners approved a 2-cent increase last year.

Grubb: 919-932-8746

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