After months of deliberation and three budget work sessions, New Hanover County commissioners will vote on the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget that includes a 2-cent tax increase on Monday.
The general funds budget will be set at $292.9 million, with New Hanover County Schools slated to receive $93.6 million for this fiscal year.
County Manager Chris Coudriet initially recommended a 5-cent property tax increase because beginning July 1–the start of the fiscal year–the county must pay debt obligations for voter-approved schools and parks bond referendums from 2006 and 2008. A 5-cent increase would equal $15 million in debt repayment, Coudriet stated in a budget work session earlier this year.
Through the work sessions, Coudriet and the commissioners compromised on a 2-cent property tax increase, which will now place property tax at 57.4 cents per $100 of property valuation. The increase was raised in a public hearing on June 8 and without any objection from the public.
The county will make up for the lost tax income through cuts in funding for Cape Fear Community College, Child Care subsidies and reduction of $2,138,546 in debt service by delaying the remaining $40 million from the 2008 community college bonds and the first $52 million of the 2014 school bonds the county was able to land at a compromised budget.
“If you own a home that’s worth $200,000, then the new increase will cost the tax payers about $39 extra per year,” New Hanover County Commissioner Rob Zapple said.
Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. Monday at the Historic Courthouse, 24 N. Third St. For more information on the New Hanover County budget, click here to visit the county’s budget page.