If you go into the grocery store and get sticker shock when you look at the price of eggs, well, those aren’t the only prices that are going up in the area.

Guilford County Manager Mike Halford and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners like to point out that the just adopted 2024-2025 budget has no increase in the property tax rate; however, what they don’t call attention to is that, effective Monday, July 1, 2024 – when the new budget goes into effect – those who use a wide variety of county services will see the fees associated with those services go up, in some cases a great deal.

For instance, do you like to go out to Bur-Mil Park and hit some golf balls on the driving range? Well, in the new fiscal year, that will cost you 50 percent more for a small basket of balls – which will increase from $4 to $6 – while a large basket, which currently costs $6, will run you $8 starting July 1.

If pickleball is your game of choice, well, it too is going to cost you more if you play on county-owned courts.

The cost of renting a pickleball court – one court, per hour– is moving up from $12 to $15.

Also, the county didn’t previously offer the rental of a pickleball court by the day, however, there’s a new $150 fee in the fiscal 2024-2025 county budget’s fee schedule if you want to do that.

Speaking of things you can do at county parks, the fee for a full day of swimming by an adult is increasing from $5 to $6. Halford’s budget originally called for that price hike to go into effect on July 1; however, the Guilford County commissioners brought up the fact that they didn’t want pool users to be hit with the price change right in the middle of the summer swim season. So that’s the only county fee increase adopted this year that goes into effect on January 1 of next year rather than on July 1 of this year.

After July 1, if you file a rezoning appeal case with the county it will cost you 50 percent more than it has in the past. That fee is moving from $500 to $750.

The cost of renaming a road will nearly quadruple: It will go from the current price of $100 to $385.

The fee increases are meant to help generate more revenue; however, several fee increases in the budget are almost certain to cost the county money rather than save money based on numerous studies and the advice of animal welfare experts.

Guilford County built the new animal shelter with a capacity that was less than the old shelter, and the argument that county officials used at the time was that they would have more programs to adopt out the animals quickly.  It is not the fault of Animal Services Director Jorge Ortega, who asked for a large shelter years ago and was told by a former Board of Commissioners to come back to them with a much less expensive slimmed-down version.

Given the constant over-crowding of the shelter and the large costs of feeding, housing and providing medical care for the animals in the shelter, it’s somewhat astounding that Halford and the Board of Commissioners are throwing up financial barriers to adoption at a time when many people who would like to adopt pets are watching every dollar.  It’s baffling that the county is tripling the price of adopting cats from $25 to $75 and raising the cost of adopting a dog in Guilford County from $50 to $75.

Due to the elasticity of demand, that’s going to mean that there are fewer adoptions and more animals left in the shelter. Those are animals the county must continue paying to take care of, feed and keep providing medical care.  The Board of Commissioners did thankfully have the good sense to oppose Halford’s effort to raise the cost of adopting senior cats from $10 to $50 as well as Halford’s attempt to raise the cost of adopting senior dogs.

Guilford County Commissioner Pat Tillman made the point at a budget work session that a lot of older people on fixed incomes would like to adopt a pet for companionship, but they may be dissuaded from doing so by the large jump in adoption fees that Halford wanted to see implemented.

If you hold a special event after July 1, and you want an Emergency Services crew to be there, that will cost you more in fiscal 2024-2025.

The “Standby Special Event” fee for an EMS unit and crew is increasing from $150 per hour to $200 per hour. The cost of each extra EMS worker will go from $60 to $ 75.

Here are some, but not all, of the other fees that Guilford County is increasing on  July 1…

Commercial Trade Permit Fees

  • Building – from $40 to $75
  • Electrical – from $40 to $75
  • Plumbing – from 40 to $75
  • Mechanical­ – from $40 to $75
  • Fuel Piping– from $40 to $ 75

(Trade Permit Fees for residential building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, fuel piping and gas logs are also all going up from $40 to $75.)

Other fee increases include…

  • Minor Site Plan Review (per plan)– moving from $100 to $175.
  • Subdivision Plat Review – (per plat, base fee) is moving from $150 to $ 200.

You can see the complete list of fee increases in the newly adopted county budget that is on the county’s website.