Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said this week that the board is in sort of a holding pattern at this time of year.

“We’re waiting to see the manager’s budget,” Alston said, adding that he’s curious to see what’s included.

Each year in May, the Guilford County manager presents his or her budget to the Board of Commissioners, which then takes it under advisement and changes it however the board sees fit.

That almost always means adding things, such as, for instance, funding for non-profit community organizations that one or more commissioners have a special affinity for.

Or more money for Guilford County Schools.

Or additional county staff positions requested by department heads but not included in the manager’s proposed budget.

This year Guilford County taxpayers can expect two things.

One, no tax rate increase. After the 2022 revaluation of property, the skyrocketing housing and other real property prices meant that the county is bringing in an additional $90 million or more each year without a change in the tax rates.  That’s why the commissioners can proudly say, “We haven’t raised the tax rate,” while struggling homeowners can simultaneously say, “Well, my tax bill is up 25 percent.”

The other thing that tax payers can be almost certain of is that there will not be a decrease in the tax rate. The current board consisting of seven Democrats and two Republicans either spends every dime that comes in or commits it to paying off the billions in debt the commissioners put on the ballot and county voters approved over the last hours years.

Guilford County Manager Mike Halford is by far the most ambitious county manager Guilford County has had in this century.  He’s attempting to completely transform the county in terms of education, reputation, economic development, professionalism in media appearances, internal technological systems advancements and more.

All noble goals – but ones that don’t come cheap.

And an ambitious manager with a board that approves everything staff presents it is likely to mean a very interesting – and giant – budget once again this year.

Halford will present his proposed budget to the commissioners in May, and, after a public hearing on his recommended budget, the commissioners will make changes and adopt a final budget in June.