What: County Commissioners Meeting: Public Hearing on Recommended Budget
Where: 301 West Market St, Greensboro, NC
When: Thurs, June 6th, 5:30 pm, (begin gathering at 4:30 pm)
Roughly a third of Guilford County Schools’ funding comes from local funding allocated by our County Commissioners. These dollars are mostly generated from local property and local sales tax revenues. While local funding is only a third of the budget, it makes up the majority of the money available for school building maintenance and upkeep.
This year, GCS is asking for an overall increase to the local budget of $22 million. The County is proposing a increase of $10.1 million- less than half.
Of that $22 million, $10 million would go to the operating budget which includes pay increases for teachers, principals and classified staff like bus drivers. The County is proposing $4 million, an amount so much lower, it would effectively make many of the pay increases impossible.
Also included in the overall $22 million increase request is $12 million is for annual capital maintenance. This money goes to replacing aging air conditioners, repairing leaky roofs, etc. The County is proposing to fund this part of the budget by $6.1 million, or just over half.
To give some context and perspective, the GCS Facilities Study, a project paid for jointly by our Board of Education and the County Commissioners found that GCS has approximately $1.5 billion in building need. It should be obvious, but it is perhaps worth noting that a billion is a thousand million, so any of of the proposed increases for 2019 do not even begin to touch needs that were assessed and verified by a third party contractor.
As an example, the Capital Renewal Schedule on page 111 of the Facilities Study shows over $36 million in need for 2019 alone. That means there is an estimated $36+ million in anticipated cost just for building upkeep and repair.
“The current tax rate does not produce enough recurring revenues to maintain the current budgets for major facility maintenance needs…” reads the County Manager’s message regarding the current budget recommendation. Despite clearly acknowledging that Guilford County is not meeting current levels of need, the County Manager goes on to make recommendations that include no change to local property taxes writing, “The proposed budget recommends a general county tax rate of 73.05 cents per $100 of assessed valuation – no change from the current rate.”
Notably, Wake County Commissioners voted this week to increase local property taxes by 10 percent adding $45 million to their overall budget.
Resources and Links:
Guilford County 2019 Recommended Budget- https://www.guilfordcountync.gov/…/budget…/fy-2019-20-budget
Facilities Study- https://www.gcsnc.com/Page/53189
Wake County Property Tax Increase- https://www.newsobserver.com/ne…/local/article231121653.html