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Cumberland County commissioners adopt budget with no property tax hike

Some solid wastes fees will increase; county employees to receive 4% raises


Cumberland County’s property tax rate will not change next fiscal year after the Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a budget proposed by County Manager Clarence Grier.

The tax rate will remain at 79.9 cents per $100 valuation, according to a county news release.

The budget includes just under $576 million in expenditures across all county operations, with $382 million appropriated for the general fund, the release said.

The annual solid waste fee will be reduced from $130 to $93, though some landfill tipping fees will increase.

County employees will get a 4% cost-of-living pay raise as part of a compensation plan to address employee retention and recruitment, the release said. It provides $100,000 to give new sheriff’s deputies and detention officers $2,500 hiring bonuses.

The recommendations of a countywide compensation study are expected in August.

The budget will provide $87.5 million for Cumberland County Schools, representing 43.47% of all property tax revenue and an increase of $3.2 million from 2023, the release said. Additionally, $1.9 million is provided for school nurses and $2.9 million for resource officers and crossing guards.

Fayetteville Technical Community College will get $15.47 million, an increase of $1.2 million over last year.

The budget continues to address the commissioners’ priorities, including:

  • Support for design and construction of the Crown Event Center to replace the Crown Theatre and Arena. The target opening date is Nov. 1, 2025, the release said.
  • Construction of a homeless support center in 2024.
  • Committing nearly $9.8 million for development of a water system in the Gray’s Creek Water District to address GenX and PFAS contamination.
  • Support for the second year of pilot health care programs for in-home case management and care coordination and patient transportation to appointments.

Other provisions of the budget include:

  • $50,897 to hire a chief custodian for the Spring Lake Resource Center after the retirement of a contract employee, which officials say will be more cost-effective.
  • $504,300 in capital outlay funding, including $176,000 to purchase climate-controlled cages for Animal Services vehicles to comply with state regulations.
  • $1.4 million to replace 21 vehicles.
  • $346,867 for a 911 backup center.
  • $100,090 to address disparities in maternal mortality.
  • $134,601 for the Healthy Conversations initiative to promote health education in barbershops and salons. The program will train barbers and stylists to advocate for positive health behaviors in areas that disproportionately affect county residents.
  • $25,000 to open a coffee shop at West Regional Library to provide job training for young people and adults with disabilities.
  • $350,000 in one-time funding for the Historic Orange Street School Restoration Project.

The annual solid waste fee would nearly double from $56 to $93 to provide for expansion of the Ann Street Landfill. This fee is charged to residential properties with seven or fewer units, the news release said, adding that the current fee is lower than that in neighboring counties.

Tipping fees would rise by $2 for municipal solid waste; construction and demolition, and mixed loads and by $4 for yard waste at the Wilkes Road processing facility.

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Cumberland County, taxes, budget, commissioners