A tax increase may be discussed by the Greensboro City Council at a work session on Monday, June 7.
City Manager David Parrish did not include a proposed tax increase in the manager’s recommended budget for fiscal year 2021-2022.
The recommended budget totaled over $617 million with revenue from taxes, fees, the city fund balance and about $4.5 million in American Rescue Plan funding.
However, the City Council at the work session on Tuesday, June 1 added over $1million dollars in additional spending and didn’t match that by reducing any spending.
Parrish said several times at the work session that the additional spending would have to be covered with additional revenue and that might include recommending a tax increase.
The city has several other sources of revenue available other than a tax increase. One would be to use more of the over $29 million the city received in May from the American Rescue Plan. The city will receive an additional $29 million by May 2022.
Another option is for the city to use more of its fund balance, which is essentially the city’s savings account. The City Council has stated a desire to have far more in the fund balance than the current 9 percent. The North Carolina Local Government Commission recommends municipalities have a minimum of 8 percent in the fund balance, sometimes called an emergency fund or a rainy day fund.
Although the City Council declined to provide the Greensboro Police Department with take home cars, it added over $460,000 in additional raises for the police and fire departments and about $200,000 for raises and bonuses for Guilford Metro 911.
Funding increases approved by the City Council included $250,000 for the International Civil Rights Center and Museum and $200,000 in additional funding for Piedmont Business Capital to raise the total funding to $600,000.
Councilmember Sharon Hightower had asked for an additional $600,000 for Piedmont Business Capital but settled for $200,000.
It also added funding to support a Downtown Ambassadors program for Downtown Greensboro Inc.