This week, the Guilford County commissioners are going to do the most important thing they do every year as elected leaders, adopt a county budget that will control where those hard-earned taxpayer dollars will be spent.
It seems very obvious that the new fiscal 2021-2022 county budget is pretty much set by now – because, this week, the Board of Commissioners canceled a budget work session that the board had scheduled for Tuesday, June 15 to work out some remaining budget questions.
There’s no doubt that some last-minute tweaking is going on – there always is at this time of year – however, based on the very civil discussions in budget work sessions and budget meetings in recent months, the nine commissioners have a very good idea how they want the money spent.
The Board of Commissioners meets on Thursday, June 17 at 5:30 p.m. and the budget is expected to be adopted toward the end of the meeting that evening. The item, “Adoption Of FY 2021-22 Annual Budget And Budget Ordinance” will be one of the last business items the board addresses, and the adoption of the budget will mark the beginning of a new era in Guilford County government. For the past eight years, Guilford County has been controlled by a Republican-majority board that has come under criticism for not raising taxes to pay for all sorts of programs and initiatives that many citizens have wanted to see in the county. Now the Democrats get to try their hand at running the county and spending the money.
The current board now has a 7-to-2 Democratic majority, one that is very eager to do things like increase school funding and fund new social programs.
This year, there will be no tax increase. However, ironically, the federal relief effort to mitigate the financial damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic has left Guilford County flush with money, and a revaluation of the tax value of all property in the county coming next year will provide the county with an estimated $50 million plus in new revenue that the Democrats will be happy to spend.