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2017-18 Recommended Budget

Post Date:05/03/2017 12:40 PM

On Tuesday, May 2, the recommended budget was presented to City Council. Included below are highlights of the budget and key dates.

Recommended budget highlights

Total budget: $217 million (Includes General Fund and all fee-based enterprise funds)   
General Fund only: $111 million

  • Core services maintained
  • Tax rate to decrease slightly (decrease of less than one-sixth of 1 penny)
  • 2017 property revaluation: While the city’s tax base has increased largely because property values in Wilmington went up, the city’s tax rate will stay about the same instead of decreasing to the “revenue neutral,” or breakeven rate, to pay for three things:
    • Mostly for the 2016 voter-approved Parks bond
    • A new 5-year infrastructure improvement plan
    • City’s portion of the redevelopment of the Water Street parking deck
  • Strong savings (fund balance) for emergencies of more than $27 million
  • Increased funding for affordable housing
  • Continued funding for 2014 voter approved Transportation Bond projects
  • Expanded funding for programs for at-risk youth
  • Continued funding for Code Enforcement and associated clean-up efforts in targeted areas
  • Monthly stormwater fee increase of 45¢ - from $7.66 to $8.11 for the average home

Next steps

  • May 16: Public hearing
  • May 26: Proposed City Council work session
  • June 6: First of two City Council votes on budget
  • June 20: Second and final vote of budget

What is revaluation and revenue neutral?

Revaluation is the re-appraisal of properties to make sure property values reflect current real estate market prices. Revaluations are done every few years so prices don’t get too far away from what people are really paying for real estate.

The “revenue neutral,” or break even, rate is what the tax payers need to pay to generate the same amount of money depending on how much property values went up or down during a county-wide property revaluation.

During a revaluation, each property owner’s tax bill may come down, stay about the same, or go up depending on how much each property’s value changed and the city’s established tax rate. The new properties values went into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

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