The Greensboro City Council passed City Manager Tai Jaiyeoba’s recommended 2022-2023 budget of $689 million at the Tuesday, June 21 meeting with few changes and with little discussion of the need for the massive increase in spending.
In 2021, the City Council passed the 2021-2022 budget of $619 million, which had no tax increase. The 2022-2023 budget increases spending by $70 million, and the tax rate of 63.25 cents is an increase of 8.69 cents over the revenue neutral rate of 54.56 cents.
According to the city staff’s report, the average property owner will pay about 30 percent more in city property taxes.
Before the 7-2 vote to approve the budget, with Mayor Nancy Vaughan and District 3 City Councilmember Justin Outling voting no, city councilmembers in favor of the budget talked a lot about how the additional spending was necessary to increase city employee compensation.
However, according to the manager’s recommended budget on the City of Greensboro website, the budget for “personnel costs” increased by $19 million and that included 61 additional employees.
The bulk of the $70 million in increased spending is in the maintenance and operations budget, which increased $45 million from $328 million in the current budget to $373 million in the 2022-2023 budget, which goes into effect on July 1, 2022.
There was very little discussion or explanation of why maintaining and operating the city government in 2022-2023 was projected to cost $45 million more than it cost in 2021-2022.
Capital Outlay in the 2022-2023 budget was actually reduced from $25.8 million in 2021-2022 to $24.8 million in 2022-2023.
While the City Council made few changes to the manager’s recommended 2022-2023 budget, it did reduce the proposed budget for the Greensboro Police Department by $960,000, removing eight additional police officers that the manager had recommended.
The other changes were mainly accounting maneuvers to reduce the proposed tax rate from 66.25 cents to 63.25 cents.
The City Council did add allocations of $75,000 each for three non-profit organizations the Greensboro Business League, Magnolia House and the Forge.
Adding that $225,000 in spending to the budget passed by a 9-0 vote.