NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – During Monday’s meeting, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to adopt a $508 million balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023 (FY 22-23). The budget takes effect on July 1 and includes a two-cent decrease in the property tax rate from 47.5 cents to 45.5 cents per $100 value.
“When talking with county staff about the Commissioners’ objectives for this year’s budget, we knew how important it was to keep funding the services our community has come to rely on while enhancing and expanding what we provide, but we also stressed a desire to put money back in our citizens’ hands. This budget does that,” said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Julia Olson-Boseman. “We’ve been able to lower taxes, so New Hanover County now has the eighth lowest property tax rate out of all 100 counties in the state, while continuing to invest in education, public health and safety, economic development, community building initiatives, and so much more. I’m extremely proud of the collaboration and hard work that went into making all of this possible.”
Education continues to be a top priority for the Commissioners as $120 million, or 28.5 percent, of the county’s $421 million General Fund, is allotted to support New Hanover County Schools. This includes an Average Daily Membership expenditure of $3,434 per student, among the highest in the state, while also keeping the teacher supplement at an average of $9,000, which remains among the best in North Carolina.
Additionally, the Commissioners increased the school system’s Capital projects funding by 27 percent to $4.7 million to help with renovations and other physical structure improvements to improve safety.
Other FY 22-23 budget highlights include:
- Provides $23.9 million to Cape Fear Community College for operating expenses and debt service.
- Supports 37 nonprofit agencies with more than $1.2 million in funding and an additional three nonprofits with $281,939 for year three of three of the county’s Social Impact Fund pilot program.
- Invests $969,428 in direct economic development efforts that will encourage private investment, support small businesses, and help further economic progress.
- Continues support of the Community Building Plan, which includes Port City United, Community Resource Coordinators in schools, pre-K expansion, constructing the Northside Grocery Store, and more.
- Funds more than $28.4 million in capital expenses for new projects to benefit the community like the design of a Northchase Library, new multi-use trails, design of a Castle Hayne Fire Station, enhancements at Ogden Park, Olsen Park and Smith Creek Park, facility replacements for the Board of Elections and the Sheriff’s Office, new landfill construction and a customer convenience site, and more.
- Enhances programs and resources that expand services and outreach to residents of all demographics and socio-economic statuses with $16.2 million throughout the budget for additional equity efforts that will help create change and impact the lives all individuals in our community.
- For residents in the unincorporated area, it maintains the Fire Service District tax rate of 7.25 cents per $100 of assessed value and the Stormwater Services Utility Fee of $5.65 per equivalent residential unit per month. The stormwater program has been in service for two years, and this will be the first year the full rate will be charged to residents.
- Increases the landfill tip fee by $4, making it $52 per ton, to cover the ongoing operating and increased capital expenses, in addition to a new litter program to help clean up streets and nuisance litter areas in the unincorporated county.
The county also continues to administer a variety of community assistance, infrastructure investments, and physical and mental health initiatives utilizing American Rescue Plan funding, which is not included as part of the FY 22-23 budget but continues to increase services across the community without a direct financial impact to residents and businesses.
The FY 22-23 recommended budget was presented to the Board of Commissioners on May 16 and a public hearing on the budget was held Monday, June 6. Following the public hearing, the Board of Commissioners approved the budget with several changes, outlined here.
The adopted budget in brief will be available at Finance.NHCgov.com in the coming weeks.