Proposed Durham budget raises tax rate 1 cent, implements special downtown tax

City Manager Tom Bonfield’s proposed budget raises the tax rate a penny and includes a new tax for downtown property owners to improve city services there.  It raises the city tax rate one cent to 56.75 cents per $100 of tax valuation.  The one-cent tax increase will generate about $2.4 million in the fiscal year that starts July 1. The money will create a dedicated funding source for affordable housing initiatives that Mayor Bill Bell suggested last winter to make up for cuts in federal grant programs.  The city has already committed part of the federal money it had expected to receive to the Rolling Hills/Southside redevelopment project. Cuts have left a shortfall on that project, while the city has also committed to revitalizing residential areas east and southwest of downtown and to serving the homeless population.  The plan distributes the annual funds in a five-year plan to various initiatives, such as providing urgent home repairs to the elderly and the disabled, site and infrastructure preparations, acquisitions, and demolitions to revitalize the Southside neighborhood.

News Observer

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