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County Manager Davis Presents FY 2018-2019 Recommended Budget

Post Date:05/16/2018


  • Proposed Budget Includes 1.9 cent Property Tax Increase
  • $3.7 Million Recommended to Fund Continued Expansion of Universal Pre-K


Durham, N.C. – Durham County Manager Wendell M. Davis presented a total budget of $644.5 million for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 to the Durham Board of County Commissioners during their Regular Session on May 14, 2018. The proposed budget is a 1.8% increase from last year.


Addressing complex dynamics of Durham’s growing population and the County’s ability to deliver services required to respond to community wide needs were the driving factors in the Manager’s proposal presented in nearly 40 minute speech on Monday night.


“We continue to wrestle with a host of vexing social challenges such as in‐migration at the rate of 20 new residents per day, a growing child poverty rate, homelessness, income inequality, low educational achievement and increasing opioid addiction, to name a few. The jobs and human capital needed to face these issues cannot be ignored,” he said.


The recommended budget, created to align with the key areas of focus communicated during the 2018 Board of County Commissioners Budget Retreat and guided by the County’s Managing for Results Model, includes a 1.9 cent property tax increase. The increase would mean a person that owns a $200,000 home would see a tax rate increase equaling $38 per year. The proposed tax increase would cover:


  • $5.2 million to support for General Fund operating needs
  • Durham County’s tax collection rate is projected to stay at 99.60%. Maintenance of this rate is critical as it serves as the main source of Durham County funding while other revenues are slowing in growth.
  • $3.2 million to increase employee benefits plan costs
    • County has approximately 2,000 employees
  • $3.0 million of requested $4.98 million to increase Durham Public School Funding
    • Enable $3,400 in funding per pupil, an increase of $88 per student.
    • Additional funding in other departments that support DPS activities include
      • the cost of five new SROs in addition to the current 27 SROs funded by the County at $2.5 million
      • the cost of three additional public health nurses adding to the $2.9 million in funding already provided.
  • 3.7 million to fund sources to support expanded Universal Pre-K programming
    • Total Pre-K funding $5.2 million.
      • $1.5 million in continued funding for Whitted School Pre-K classrooms
      • $3.7 million for expansion of Pre-K services
    • Funding growth towards ultimately ensuring that every four year old in Durham has access to high quality to increase school readiness
    • Universal Pre-K funding serves as a long-term workforce development strategy that ensures Durham’s youngest are ready to answer the call of the community’s employment and growth needs.
  • $4 million in employee compensation and classification changes
    • The County is currently awaiting the conclusions of a county-wide compensation and classification study that may provide recommendations for other salary changes to specific sets of positions based on market analysis.
    • $3.0 million for study for recommendations
    • $1 million set aside to pay for performance salary increase from 2‐3% to 2‐4% for the County’s employees.
  • $1.0 million to support new positions for the County
    • 40.97 positions added
    • 53 positions reduced
    • 8 reallocated positions
    • 4.72 eliminated (grant funded positions)
  • $1.3 million to support the loss of revenue from Community Health Trust Fund
    • Revenue flow from Duke University will end this year following a purchase of Durham Hospital from Durham County Government. The agreement included an annual agreement of $3.6 million up to 2017-2018.


Other highlights covered in the Manager’s Recommended Budget include:

  • a 5.24% increase for Durham Technical Community College. The recommended increase of $375,654 would bring total funding for DTCC to $7,539,874.
  • $75,000 increase for the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science bringing the total funding amount to $1.8 million.


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 or via email at


Copies of the Manager’s proposed budget can be found on the Durham County Website, in the Clerk to the Board’s Office, and at the Durham County Regional Libraries.


Budget Work Sessions are planned for May 22, 24, 31, June 4 and June 14. For questions about meeting dates and 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 11, 2018. 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 2018-2019 Budget Comment Portal


The budget is scheduled for approval during the BOCC Regular Session on Monday, June 25.