May 21, 2024 - News

Raleigh's proposed budget asks for increased property taxes

Downtown Raleigh's skyline at dusk

Downtown Raleigh's skyline from the Boylan Avenue Bridge. Photo: Visit Raleigh

Raleigh property owners could see an increase in their property taxes as the city seeks to give pay raises to city workers, firefighters and police, according to city manager Marchell Adams-David's proposed budget.

Why it matters: Fast-growing cities like Raleigh are trying to balance their spending priorities with an urgency to retain city workers amid surging demand for municipal services.

Driving the news: Adams-David noted that a property tax increase is needed because expenses are outpacing revenues. At the same time, sales tax revenues have begun to plateau after seeing strong growth after the pandemic.

By the numbers: The proposed tax rate would be 35.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, which would be a decrease from the previous rate of 43.3 cents.

  • But because of the county's soaring property values, the new rate will be an increase for homeowners — who have seen a large appreciation in home prices in recent years — and above the revenue-neutral rate.
  • A resident with the median home value of $391,705 would be expected to pay $1,391 in city taxes in fiscal year 2025.
  • The city's previous median home value for fiscal year 2024 was $257,730. That would have equaled $1,115 in city taxes last fiscal year.

What's inside: The $1.4 billion budget, an 11.8% increase from last year's budget, calls for a 5% market-adjustment raise for police officers, firefighters and emergency control center workers.

  • Those public safety workers are also eligible for an average of 3.5% merit pay increases, taking the average police officer salary, for example, to $59,774 from $54,217.
  • The budget also calls for maintenance specialists to receive a 6% salary increase and all city employees to get a 2% wage increase.

The budget would also increase spending on affordable housing to $11.4 million from $7.9 million. It would also:

  • Provide $800,000 to support the ACORNS unit, which sends licensed clinicians to mental health-related 911 calls.
  • Increase residential water rates by $1.58 per month.
  • Return bus fares, with a soft launch on July 1.
  • Allocate more employees to maintain Dix Park and the launch of the Gipson Play Plaza.

What's next: The City Council will hold a public hearing on the budget on June 4.

  • The earliest the budget could be adopted is June 10.
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