City releases recommended budget, possible tax hikes - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

City releases recommended budget, possible tax hikes

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The City of Wilmington released its recommended budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year Monday. The City of Wilmington released its recommended budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year Monday.

​WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – The City of Wilmington released its recommended budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year Monday.

The total recommended budget is $145 million with $91 million of that as a part of the General Fund.

The recommended budget includes a property tax increase of 1 cent. According to the city, the effect for the average homeowner with a $200,000 home will be $1.67 per month or $20 per year. The new possible property tax rate is 46 cents.

The recommended budget includes funding for a multi-year plan to help get employee wages to market rates. According to City Communications manage Malissa Talbert, the overall amount requested for raises is 4 percent, but raises will vary depending on several factors including an employee's longevity and job performance. 

A a full year's funding for the Wilmington Police Department's Mobile Field Force and Gang Task Force, and an additional $151,000 for non-profit agencies that provide services to at-risk youth is also included.

City Council recommends continued funding for the 5-year infrastructure improvement plan to improve public facilities.

There are also proposed fee changes in the recommendation. For homeowners you could be paying about 39 cents for stormwater fees. There is also a proposed 6 percent increase in solid waste fees.  

The recommended budget includes $22 million for savings. The second access to Love Grove was not addressed in the budget.

In April, Council faced a $2.3 million shortfall in the budget. Talbert said no positions were eliminated, and about half of the shortfall was addressed through tax increases. The remainder comes from budget cuts and taking $600,000 from the fund balance.

City council is planning a public hearing on the recommended budget at their May 20 meeting. Council is expected to have a work session on the budget on May 30 and a final vote on the budget will be on June 17.

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