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County Manager Davis Presents FY 2019-2020 Recommended Budget

Post Date:05/13/2019 9:00 PM
  • Proposed budget includes 2.3 cent property tax increase to 71.22 cents per $100 valuation.
  • Additional $7 million allocated to Durham Public Schools for operating budget.
  • $11 million allocated to address deferred maintenance issues for DPS in capital budget.

Durham, N.C. – Durham County Manager Wendell M. Davis presented a total budget of $657.5 million for Fiscal Year 2019-20 to the Durham Board of County Commissioners during their Regular Session on May 13, 2019. The proposed budget includes a 2% 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 a nearly 40-minute speech on Monday night.


“The recommended budget supports critical needs for Durham Public Schools and the important and expensive task of providing increased Pre-Kindergarten support to Durham children. And it also recognizes our greatest assets; our human capital, by proactively dealing with compensation and classification issues” he said.


The recommended budget, created to align with the key areas of focus communicated during the 2019 Board of County Commissioners Budget Retreat and guided by the County’s Managing for Results Model, includes a 2.3 cent property tax increase in addition to the revenue neutral tax rate of 68.92 cents per $100 valuation bringing the tax rate to 71.22 cents per $100 valuation. The increase would mean a person that owns a $200,000 home would see a tax rate increase equaling $46 per year. The proposed tax increase would cover:

  • 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.


  • $7 million or 5.05% increase to support of Durham Public Schools (DPS). The FY 2019-20 Superintendent budget request includes a $12.88 million increase ($8.2 million in current expense and $4.6 million for Capital Outlay).


  • The County is releasing its use of annual Lottery Funds of $1 million to support annual Capital Outlay requests and is also allotting $10 million of Limited Obligation Bonds (LOBs) for DPS use over the next several years. Additional lottery funds and LOBs funding will provide DPS with additional capital support of $4 million a year for the next three years.


  • $1.6 million is recommended for continued expansion of Pre-K bringing the FY 2019-20 Pre-K support to $5.25 million. Funding growth towards ultimately ensuring that every four-year old in Durham has access to high quality education resources to increase school readiness.


  • $3.1 million to support increased employee benefits plan costs.
    • The County has approximately 2,000 employees. Benefits plan (specifically Health Insurance) estimated costs have increased by 14% ($3.1 million).
  • $3.1 million in employee compensation and classification changes.
  • In FY2018-19 Public Safety employees pay was adjusted to support the county wide compensation and classification study recommendations. The FY2019-20 budget addresses the remaining approximately 1,350 employees impacted by the study recommendations.


  • $1.0 million to support 22 positions for the County; seven are grant funded.


  • $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.


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

  • 5.24% increase for Durham Technical Community College. The recommended increase of $375,654 would bring total funding for DTCC to $7,539,874.


  • $848,000 funded to support Durham County Foster Care program.


  • Departmental budget reductions totaled $2.1 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 Manager’s webpage and in the Clerk to the Board’s Office located at 200 E. Main Street. Durham County Regional Library locations welcome anyone who desires to view the recommended budget online. 


Budget Work Sessions are planned for May 21, 29, 30, June 3 and June 11. 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 2019-2020 Budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 10, 2019. 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 2019-20 Budget Comment Portal


The budget is scheduled for approval during the BOCC Regular Session on Monday, June 24. 




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