New Hanover County’s adopted budget continues important services, maintains tax rate

Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:40 am     Category: County CommissionersCounty ManagerFinanceNews Release

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – On June 1, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners adopted a $399.6 million balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, which begins July 1. The adopted budget takes a conservative fiscal approach based on the uncertain economic impacts from COVID-19, while also prioritizing the health and safety of the community and continuing the important county services already in place.

“This year’s budget maintains existing levels of service, invests in our employees who are charged with delivering these services, provides long‐term funding for voter‐approved debt, sustains strategic initiatives, and maintains the existing tax rate to ensure our citizens are not further financially strained following the economic disruptions of COVID‐19,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “I appreciate the leadership of the Board of Commissioners to adopt a budget that is sustainable for the coming year and is responsive to the economic volatility we are experiencing because of COVID-19.”

The adopted budget maintains the current county-wide tax rate of 55.5 cents per $100 of value, making it four years in a row that the county has either reduced or maintained the tax rate.

The FY21 budget sustains the priorities set by the Board of Commissioners in the county’s strategic plan, and among other initiatives, the budget:

  • Provides a total of $112.2 million to New Hanover County Schools, including $2,907 per pupil, $1.6 million in capital, $487,422 for Pre-K expansion, demonstrating the county’s continued commitment to improving the quality of public education in New Hanover County.
  • Establishes a three-year pilot program for a Social Impact Fund, that will provide funding to identified community nonprofits, focused on demonstrated outcomes they achieve toward advancing the county’s strategy focused on kindergarten readiness, raising average wages in the county, and reducing overall substance use.
  • Funds more than $618,000 in strategic economic development initiatives that will encourage private investment, bring more diverse and higher-wage jobs, and enhance quality of life.
  • Supports $931,106 in funding for human service partners through the Non-County Agency funding application process. Additionally, $375,000 has been committed over the next five years to support the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina’s new facility in our county.
  • 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.
  • Capital improvement projects including the construction of a sidewalk extension on Market Street and a multi‐purpose connection trail path along Middle Sound Loop Road; and Environmental Management capital projects like the final phase of the landfill gas-to-energy system.
  • Sustained emphasis on 1,839 county employees, providing job security, benefits, and market increases to salaries.

The recommended budget was presented to the board on May 18 and a public hearing on the budget was held Monday, June 1. The Board of Commissioners approved the recommended budget with few changes following the public hearing on Monday, June 1. The adopted budget in brief will be available on the Finance website by Friday, June 12.

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Media Contact:
Jessica Loeper
910-798-7461

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