If you have anything to say regarding what you do or don’t want funded in the Guilford County budget this year, you’ll have a chance to give the Guilford County Board of Commissioners an earful at the board’s meeting on Thursday, June 1.

North Carolina General Statutes require that boards of commissioners across the state hold public hearings on the budgets presented by county managers before those boards adopt a final version. Guilford County will hold its hearing after the meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. on June 1 in the Commissioners’ Meeting Room on the second floor of the Old County Court House at 301 W. Market Street in downtown Greensboro.

Each speaker gets to air any concerns about what’s in the budget or suggest which programs and projects should be better funded.  Usually, at the annual budget hearing, concerned citizens pack the place and there’s a long line to speak for an allotted two minutes each.

Last year, however, there were only about a dozen speakers who came to air their views on what the county’s final 2023-2024 budget should look like.  When one top county official was recently asked why that was, he said, “Because the schools got everything they wanted.”

This year it’s different.

For the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget, Guilford County Manager Mike Halford has proposed giving the schools no new money for operations, but the schools requested over $100 million in new money for operations.  That will draw a crowd.

Also at the hearings, people often advocate for arts programs, YMCA endeavors, and community non-profits, and they attempt to persuade the board to include more money for their particular cause.

Other speakers, of course, come to the meeting and argue that the property tax rate is too high and then plead with the board to reduce taxes and cut some programs.