Durham’s Budget Raises Taxes, Funds Affordable Housing

The Durham City Council on Monday approved a $429.4 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year that invests in affordable housing, public safety, and infrastructure.

The budget includes a tax hike of 1.79 cents to dedicate a second penny to affordable housing and hire thirty new firefighters, among other investments. The property tax rate will increase to 57.86 cents per $100 of property value. The average homeowner will pay about $32 more in property taxes than last year as a result of the increase.

A penny of the tax rate generates about $2.8 million in annual revenue. The city has a five-year goal of preserving or creating 1,150 affordable units.

Residents are also looking at an average increase in water and sewer fees of about 2.6 percent, but daily pass fees to the city’s recreation facilities are being eliminated for those under eighteen. About $6.6 million will go toward street improvements. The budget also bolsters a diversity recruitment initiative and racial equity training for staff.

City employees will get an average raise of 4 percent, with public safety employees getting a 5 percent increase under a new pay plan approved earlier this year. In a year, all city employees will earn at least $15 per hour.

This article appeared in print with the headline “Budget Breakdown”

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