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Wilmington leaders hope penny property tax hike will help with employee pay, public safety

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council will meet tomorrow night to discuss the upcoming city budget.

The proposed budget includes a property tax increase and wage raises to get current employees closer to averages in similar cities.

City Council won't vote on the budget until the middle of June. Until then, though, they'll continue to hammer out specifics.

The city says it does not want to cut services, but it has to generate revenue somehow.

The proposed solution is a one-percent property tax hike, or about $20 on a $200,000 home. That extra money will go to things like public safety services and employee pay. With employees, specifically police and fire employees, making far less than cities comparable to the Port City, Wilmington spokeswoman Malissa Talbert says that is top of mind.

"It's not gonna fund everything, but it will help with the enhancements that we've talked about with the public safety and intervention a one-cent tax increase," Talbert said.

If approved the tax increase would go into effect this coming fiscal year.

There are several more steps until budget approval, including a public hearing on May 20 and a final work session May 30. A final vote is set for June 17.

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