Wake County Board of Commissioners Adopts $1.8 Billion Budget for Fiscal Year 2024
The Wake County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on June 5 to adopt the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which runs from July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024.
The budget totals $1,874,435,000 and includes significant investments in public safety, housing affordability, child welfare, behavioral health and education, while accounting for inflation and the rising costs of employee recruitment and retention.
Investing in Education
Funding for education comprises 57% of the FY2024 budget and totals more than $1 billion.
- County Manager David Ellis had initially recommended increasing the investment in the Wake County Public School System by $40 million. The board added $10 million more, bringing the total increase in funding for WCPSS over FY2023 to $50 million.
- The commissioners also increased Wake Tech’s faculty salary supplement by $1 million for a total increase over FY2023 of $3.2 million.
These additions bring the county’s overall operating investments in FY2024 in WCPSS to more than $644.2 million and in Wake Tech to nearly $33.5 million.
Impacts on the Property Tax
The commissioners voted to fund these additions to the FY2024 budget by raising the property tax increase to 3.75 cents, which will generate $75 million in revenue.
Of that 3.75 cents, 1 cent will fund the education bonds that the voters approved in November to renovate or build new facilities for the Wake County Public School System and Wake Tech.
Manager Ellis proposed a 3.25-cent property tax increase in May. The half-cent added by the board will generate $10 million more in revenue.
This brings the total tax rate to 65.7 cents per $100 of property tax valuation. The owner of a $300,000 home, which is the median assessed value in Wake County, would pay $112.50 more per year compared with FY2023.
Fire Tax Increase Adopted
The FY2024 budget will raise the fire tax from 10.27 cents to 12.27 cents per $100 of property value for households in the Fire Tax Special District. The Fire Tax District funds fire services in the unincorporated areas of the county and in the Town of Wendell.
Increasing the fire tax will not only ensure a continued prompt response in rural communities during emergencies, but it will also help retain great firefighters and provide them with equipment that works well and keeps them safe.
Other Budget Highlights
The FY2024 budget will also:
- Add 20 new positions and the ambulances for Wake County EMS to address rising 911 call volumes and more severe incidents;
- Purchase a second set of turnout gear for firefighters in the Fire Tax District to reduce their risk of cancer;
- Launch the $1.3 million Major Repair Community Development Program to provide home repair assistance to low-income homeowners through low-interest or forgivable loans;
- Increase funding for WakeBrook, a local behavioral health crisis response facility, by 39% to support 24/7 crisis stabilization, non-hospital detox and inpatient treatment;
- Add 15 positions to our Child Welfare Program to help keep children safe, recruit foster families and place more children in stable, permanent homes;
- Expand operating funding to $5 million for Pre-K programs for income-eligible 3- and 4-year-olds; and
- Open Beech Bluff County Park – our first new county park since 2006. It spans 240 acres and will expand access to recreation in the southeast corner of Wake County.