New Hanover County passes 2019-2020 budget, maintains tax rate

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — On Monday, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners adopted a $399 million balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.

According to a news release from the county, the adopted budget maintains the current county-wide tax rate of 55.5 cents per $100 of value. The recommended budget was presented to the board on May 20 and a public hearing on the budget was held Monday, June 3.

According to the news release, the budget:

  • Provides $116.2 million to support public schools, which is a 6.9% increase in funding from last year. Read about the county’s funding to public schools here.
  • Transitions the responsibility of the Forensic Lab to New Hanover County from the City of Wilmington, with a 60/40 cost-sharing arrangement with the city.
  • Funds more than $3.3 million in strategic economic development initiatives that will encourage private investment, bring more diverse and higher-wage jobs, and enhance quality of life.
  • Invests in workforce housing in partnership with the City of Wilmington, including $45,000 for a workforce housing study.
  • Supports 29 human services community partners, as recommended by the Non-County Agency Funding Committee, for a total of $977,000.
  • Includes debt service payments for the construction of the Healing Place substance use treatment center.
  • Maintains the fire services tax rate for residents in the unincorporated county at 7.75 cents and also keeps the landfill tip fee at $48 per ton.
  • Provides a market and merit salary increase for all eligible county employees.

County Manager Chris Coudriet says the budget addresses current needs and plans for the future.

“It begins to replenish the county’s fund balance, which was affected by Hurricane Florence, and strategically funds important initiatives like the opioid crisis, workforce housing and public education,” Coudriet said.

The adopted budget in brief will be available on the Finance website by Monday, July 24.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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