New Hanover County Passed Budget Cuts Property Taxes, Strengthens Community Investments
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, North Carolina – During Monday’s meeting, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to pass a $508 million balanced budget for fiscal year 2022-23 (FY22-23). The budget takes effect July 1 and includes a two-cent decrease in the property tax rate from 47.5 cents to 45.5 cents per $100.
“When we spoke with county staff about the commissioners’ goals for this year’s budget, we knew how important it was to continue to fund the services our community relies on while improving and expanding what we’re providing, but we’ve also emphasized a desire to put money in the hands of our fellow citizens. This budget does that,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Julia Olson-Boseman. “We were able to cut taxes, so New Hanover County now has the eighth lowest property tax rate out of 100 counties in the state, while continuing to invest in education, health and safety public affairs, economic development, community building initiatives, and more. I am immensely proud of the collaboration and hard work that made it all possible.
Education continues to be a top priority for commissioners as $120 million, or 28.5 percent, of the county’s general fund of $421 million, is allocated to support schools in New Hanover County. This includes an average daily membership spend of $3,434 per student, among the highest in the state, while maintaining the teacher supplement at an average of $9,000, which remains among the best in Carolina. North.
In addition, commissioners increased funding for school system capital projects by 27% to $4.7 million to help with renovations and other improvements to the physical structure to improve safety.
Other budget highlights for FY22-23 include:
- Provides $23.9 million to Cape Fear Community College for operating expenses and debt service.
- Supperports 37 nonprofits with more than $1.2 million in funding and three more nonprofits with $281,939 for the third of three years of the county’s Social Impact Fund pilot program.
- Invests $969,428 in direct economic development efforts that will encourage private investment, support small businesses and promote economic progress.
- Continue to support the Community building planwhich includes Port City United, School Community Resource Coordinators, Pre-K Expansion, Northside Grocery Building, and more.
- Funding over $33 million in capital expenditures for new projects to benefit the community, such as the design of a Northchase library, new multi-use trails, the design of a Castle Hayne fire station, improvements to Ogden Park, Olsen Park and Smith Creek Park, installing replacements for the Board of Elections and the Sheriff’s Office, building a new landfill and customer convenience site, and more.
- Expands equity efforts with $16.2 million allocated to program and resource enhancements that improve services and outreach to residents of all demographics and socioeconomic statuses, to help create change and to impact the lives of all individuals in our community.
- For residents of the unincorporated area, it maintains the fire service district tax rate of 7.25 cents per $100 of assessed value and the storm water utility fee of $5.65 per equivalent residential unit per month. The stormwater program has been in operation for two years, and this will be the first year that the full rate will be charged to residents.
- Increases landfill fees by $4 to $52 per ton to cover ongoing operating expenses and increased capital expenditures, plus a new waste program to help clean up streets and nuisance waste areas in the unincorporated county.
The county also continues to administer a variety of community supports, infrastructure investments, and physical and mental health initiatives using Funding for the US bailoutwhich is not part of the budget for fiscal year 22-23, but continues to increase services in the community with no direct financial impact on residents and businesses.
The Recommended budget for FY22-23 was presented to the Council of Commissioners on May 16 and a public hearing on the budget was held on Monday June 6. Following the public hearing, the Council of Commissioners approved the budget with several changels, described here.
The adopted budget in brief will be available on Finance.NHCgov.com next week.
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