Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield’s proposed budget for the upcoming year doesn’t include a property tax increase, but does add money for homeless support services, affordable housing, athletic parks, and staffing. Bonfield said the city is able to avoid a property tax increase in part because of higher-than-expected property tax revenues due to new construction.
That would be good news for city residents, who saw both a city and county tax increase this fiscal year with another likely increase in county property tax rates for the coming year. “The taxable value for next fiscal year will grow by $1.2 billion, or 4.46 percent, which is over twice the amount our financial model had projected,” Bonfield said.
That growth is happening citywide, he said, noting property values are up 17 percent downtown. There are currently about three hundred active site plans for building projects in Durham with a total of more than eight hundred reviewed this fiscal year. Forty-two hundred building permits have been issued to date.
“All those numbers are the highest the city has seen,” Bonfield said.
The total proposed budget for fiscal year 2018-19 amounts to $510.4 million — an increase of about 16 percent over the current year budget. Most of that increase will go toward water and sewer improvements.