Don't know what to make of Raleigh's proposed budget?
We're here to help. We waded through 189 pages of numbers so you don't have to. (And then we drank. A lot.)
In a lengthy presentation to the City Council last week, Raleigh city manager Ruffin L. Hall laid out his vision for the year's budget. His was mostly a status-quo proposal, adjusted for inflation—in other words, scrambling to keep up with the city's onslaught of growth. So, for instance, you'll get slight increases in utility and solid-waste collection fees, and you'll have to start paying to park on city-owned decks and lots at night and on weekends. In return you'll get three new parks, a handful more cops, infrastructure improvements and a small raise for city workers, among other goodies, none of which seems especially radical.
But that doesn't mean the City Council won't face some difficult decisions in the coming weeks—chief among them: whether to raise property taxes to offset the loss of the business privilege tax the Legislature abolished last year—as it considers and tweaks Hall's proposal during the June budget sessions, held on Mondays at 4 p.m., with a July 1 deadline. To help you make sense of the budget—a dense, 189-page document only an accountant could love—and decide whether you like it, we've constructed this handy infographic. You're welcome.
Additional reporting by Jane Porter.