The public hearing on the proposed Greensboro 2022-2023 fiscal year budget at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 7 lasted a little over three minutes.
City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba’s proposed budget includes the largest tax increase in the history of Greensboro, a water and sewer rate increase, a garbage pick-up fee increase, a house hazardous waste fee increase and increases in fire inspection and development fees.
If you thought that the nearly 12 cent property tax increase and all the fee increases would incite at least one Greensboro resident to come down to city hall and speak about the financial burdens being placed on the people of Greensboro, then you were wrong.
One speaker, Beth McKee-Huger, spoke during the budget public hearing and she spoke about the need for more affordable housing.
A number of members of the Greensboro City Council did speak about the budget, and from their comments it appears that the City Council is expecting Jaiyeoba to present a budget with significant revisions at the Thursday, June 9 work session.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan, At-large Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter and District 5 City Councilmember Tammi Thurm all spoke about the need to raise the salaries of city employees.
Abuzuaiter said, “I do believe the city manager has heard us loud and clear. He has heard how much we want to make sure that our employees are compensated appropriately. Certainly that is most important to us.”
Vaughan said, “We’ve said that it is our priority that our employees be compensated adequately.”
District 3 City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Justin Outling noted, “The budget calls for the greatest tax increase in our city’s history.”
He said that $12 million was allocated for debt service on the $135 million in bonds that will be on the July 26 ballot that may or may not be approved, and that the City Council should “first exhaust all of our resources before looking to a tax increase.”
Outling has repeatedly proposed using some of the $59 million in American Rescue Plan money for items that are in the budget to be paid for with tax revenue.
At-large City Councilmember Hugh Holston, speaking on the budget, said that he hoped Jaiyeoba would “bring that number down as close to 54 as we can get it.”
The revenue neutral tax rate is 54.56 cents. The tax rate in the city manager’s proposed budget is 66.25 cents.