Guilford County Manager Mike Halford’s 2022-2023 budget proposal is a lot like a kid’s Christmas wish list.

It’s a document that lists a whole lot of things someone wants without too much regard that they may cost a fortune.  But there’s a difference: Unlike the kid jotting down everything he or she wants for Christmas, Halford – with the support of the Democratic-majority Board of Commissioners – may very well get pretty much everything he’s asking for.

Halford’s $855 million budget is far and away the largest budget proposal ever brought before a Guilford County Board of Commissioners, and, when Republican Commissioner Justin Conrad first heard Halford’s proposed budget unveiled at the commissioners meeting last week, Conrad texted the Rhino Times with a two-word response that can’t be repeated in a family-oriented publication.  While that comment (Hint: first word is “Holy”) can’t be quoted here, suffice it to say that Conrad thinks the spending is quite overboard.

But it’s not just Conrad and his fellow commissioners who get to comment on the budget proposal.  County citizens have a venue for input as well before the Board of Commissioners adopts a final budget in June.

This week, the county announced the details of that public hearing on the manager’s budget.  The public hearing on the proposed budget will be held on Thursday, June 2, at 5:30 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room in the Old  Guilford County Court House, in downtown Greensboro. The official stated reason for the hearing is “for the purpose of discussing the proposed FY 2022-23 budget and to give all interested citizens the opportunity to make written and oral comments on the budget.”

For those who’d like to check out Halford’s budget recommendation, it can be found on the county’s website at In addition, on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., a physical copy can be seen in the Clerk to the Board of County Commissioners Office on the second floor of the Old Court House at 301 W. Market St.

While the overall county budget proposal totals $855 million, the county’s “general fund” budget –  is $777,378,000.  The general fund budget encompasses the Board of Commissioners’ discretionary dollars and the budgets for county departments, but doesn’t include some “pass-through” funding pre-committed to certain initiatives.

Halford has recommended a tax rate of 73.05 cents per $100 of assessed property values.  That’s the same rate as the current county budget, but due to the countywide revaluation of all property at a time of very high real estate prices, the proposed budget essentially includes a stealth tax increase of 14 cents.  The “revenue-neutral” tax rate, is 59.54 cents per $100 of value.  But, with a Democratic-majority board, there’s no hope county citizens will see anything close to that rate this year.

The recommended tax rates for fire districts are also available in the budget document.