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County Manager Davis Presents Recommended Budget

Post Date:05/24/2017 2:00 PM


  • The Proposed Budget Includes a 3 Cents Property Tax Increase.
  • Declines in State Revenues, Slowed Property Tax and Sales Tax Growth Places Strain on County


Durham, N.C. – Durham County Manager Wendell M. Davis presented a $629.9 million budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 to the Durham Board of County Commissioners during the Board of County Commissioners’ Regular Session on Monday, May 22, 2017. This is the fourth budget presentation delivered by Davis since becoming County Manager in 2014.  

“As we plan for the next budget year, we face many competing challenges and opportunities that one entity alone cannot resolve,” Davis stated in the opening of his budget message to the BOCC According to Davis, declines state revenues, slowed property tax and sales tax growth has placed strain on the County resulting in the inability to accept many high priority budget requests. However, he reassured the BOCC that the County “remains in a solid fiscal position.”


The proposed budget for July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, totals $626,920,964 – an increase of $42,641, 493 or 7.26% more than last year’s budget. The budget recommendation includes a property tax increase of 3 cents. The increase means that residents would see a rate of 77.04 for every $100 of property value. A house with a valuation of $200,000 would pay an additional $60 on their County tax bill from a 3 cent tax rate increase. The recommended tax increase breaks down to cover:


General Fund Operational Increases

.25 cents



Durham Public Schools Increased Current Expense Funding

.75 cents



Capital Financing and Related Long Term Debt Service Needs/Voter Approved General Obligation Bond Referendum

2.0 cents



The County continues to support investment in publicly funded education, from early childhood to post-secondary institutions of learning. Durham Public Schools, educating 33,000 students from kindergarten through 12th grade, is proposed to receive a current expense increase of 3.73%/$4.76 million through a combination of property tax dollars and BOCC policy directed use of Article 46 sales tax. $206,384 in increased funding is recommended for Durham Technical Community College.  The children’s science museum, Museum of Life and Science, is proposed to see an increase of $65,105 to fund staff salary increase, benefits cost increase, supplies and support of new positions.

Other expenditure highlights from the County Manager’s FY 2017-2018 Budget include:

  • Property tax collection percentage remains at 99.60%.
  • Various fee adjustments in Public Health, EMS and the Enterprise Utility Fund.
  • Adding six (6.0) new full time employees (FTEs) supported with realigned existing funds, four (4.0) new FTEs supported with realigned existing vacant positions, County supported new FTEs – 7.78, and Enterprise Fund (Revenue Supported) – one (1.0) FTE.
  • Increase in the participation rate for the County contribution to the Local Government Employees Retirement System (LGERS) from 7.32% to 7.55% for local LEO class and 8.0% to 8.20% for Local Law Enforcement Officers (LEO).
  • The total no cost increase of the County Benefits Plan Fund for health insurance and 8% increase in dental insurance for a very minimal increase overall from $23,437,300 to $23,442,744.
  • The General Fund balance appropriation increased from $13.24 million to $13.78 million.
  • $5.58 million in Community Health Fund annual lease revenues will be transferred to the General Fund to support healthcare-related expenditures.
  • Purchase of 46 vehicles (four new and 42 replacement vehicles) for the EMS, Fire Marshal, ACCESS Transportation, CJRC, General Services, Social Services and Sheriff and new equipment for EMS, Sheriff and Fire Marshal. Detailed on the Vehicle and Equipment page in the document.
  • 40 nonprofit agencies are recommended for funding in the nonprofit funding program in FY 2017-18 at a total of $650,000. In this application cycle, 57 individual agencies and two collaborations applied for funding with requests totaling $1,651,656. A detailed list of funding recommendations can be found in the Appendix of the 2017 Recommended Budget Presentation and the proposed funding amount is currently in the Other Human Services fund center. After the 2017-2018 budget is approved, funds will be distributed to the managing departments.
  • Funding for Durham County’s participation in the Durham Youth Works Internship Program totals $75,280.
  • Debt Service increase $10.5 million to $68.67 million, with dedicated property tax increasing 2.0 cents to 9.96 cents to support future debt service payments that will be increasing. Additional funding from lottery funds and dedicated Sales Tax also support debt service needs for FY 2017-2018.

Budget Work Sessions are planned for May 23, 25, 30, June 13-14. For the most up to date meeting times, contact the Durham Clerk to the Board at (919) 560-0025 or A public hearing for the FY 2017-2018 Budget is scheduled for 7p.m. on Monday, June 12, 2017. The hearing will take place in the Commissioners’ Chambers, 200 E. Main Street. Residents are invited to make comments about the budget by completing a form in the 2017-2018 Budget Comment Portal. The portal will close for public comment on Tuesday, June 20. The budget is scheduled for approval during the BOCC Regular Session on Monday, June 26. 

To view more details about the recommended budget, visit the County’s Budget and Management Services webpage. Questions about the proposed budget can be directed to the Durham County Manager’s Office at (919) 560-0000.



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