Raleigh City Council Adopts Budget
The Raleigh City Council adopted the budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and the Five-year Capital Improvement Program for FY21-FY25 at today’s City Council meeting. The budget reflects a shift from previous year’s budgets as the city deals with a significant loss of revenues through reductions to departments, capital and programs. The budget continues the city’s commitment to providing great service to residents.
The net operating and capital budget for FY21 is $1.01 billion, which includes a General Fund total operating budget of $507.7 million, representing a 2.2 percent decrease from the FY20 adopted budget.
The FY21 Capital Improvement Program totals $469.5 million, with the total for five years (FY21-FY25) being $1.75 billion.
Wake County completed a property re-valuation in 2019, resulting in a revenue neutral tax rate of 35.52 cents per $100 valuation - a reduction from the prior year rate of 43.82 cents per $100 valuation. The budget includes a $2.00 increase in the monthly Solid Waste fee which aligns with changes in the market and assists in stabilizing recycling and the current level of service. City Council is calling a public hearing on July 7, 2020 to request public feedback on a $0.50 rate adjustment on the base stormwater rate.
FY21 begins July 1 and ends on June 30, 2021.
The budget recognizes the challenges the city’s workforce is facing and continues the pursuit of investing in employees. The FY21 budget includes adjustments to maintain a competitive compensation and benefits package, including:
- Adjustment to the living wage rate from $32,090 to $34,130 in accordance with the Council-adopted living wage policy, which applies to all regular, full-time employees;
- Funding for a 2% base pay increase for all employees, contingent upon the City meeting or exceeding financial targets which will be determined prior to December 1st; and
- Increases in the City’s contribution to the North Carolina Local Governmental Employees' Retirement System (NCLGERS) from 8.95% to 10.15% for regular, full-time employees and from 9.70% to 10.90% for sworn law enforcement employees to align with direction from the LGERS Board of Trustees.
With a significant budget gap created by the loss of revenues, this budget focuses on reprioritizing existing resources and identifying strategic reductions, with consideration given to the continuation of essential services, minimizing impacts on vulnerable populations within our community, and prioritizing our workforce.
The budget includes $2.8 million in departmental budget reductions in non-essential areas such as consulting services, software upgrades, and non-critical maintenance, and the cancellation of the City’s 4th of July Fireworks display. In addition, the City’s travel and training budget was reduced by 25% and a temporary hiring freeze has been implemented. Furthermore, staff will continue providing services at current staffing levels, with no new positions included in the budget.
While reductions were necessary to respond to the economic downturn, high-priority investments in our operations continue, including:
- A reprioritization of positions from our Housing & Neighborhoods Department to a newly created Office of Equity and Inclusion;
- Restructuring and streamlining services in planning and development into a combined Planning and Development Department; and
- Additional financial support for Solid Waste Services to assist in yard waste collection and disposal efforts.
As the City of Raleigh continues to grow, the FY2021 budget and FY 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) reflect the prioritization of critical infrastructure investments. Funding will support priorities including affordable housing, water quality efforts, and a well-connected transportation system that supports multimodal forms of transportation.
For more information, contact the City’s Budget and Management Services Department at 919-996-4270.