Council Adopts FY 2020-2021 Operating Budget
The Garner Town Council on June 16 unanimously adopted an operating budget of $40,695,534 for fiscal year 2020-21, which begins July 1.
The budget includes a tax rate of $.4971 per $100 of assessed value, which is an increase of 3.5 cents above the revenue-neutral rate of $.4621 per $100 of assessed value. A revenue-neutral rate is defined as the rate that is estimated to produce revenue for the next fiscal year equal to the revenue that would have been produced for the next fiscal year by the current tax rate if no property revaluation had occurred.
Garner is currently projected to have the lowest effective tax rate in Wake County (please see the chart below).
Funding in the FY 2020-21 budget will allow the Town to hire a community liaison officer in the Police Department and three firefighters for Garner Fire-Rescue. The community liaison position will provide proactive community outreach at a time when strengthening community relationships and partnerships is critical. Adding three firefighters will allow Garner Fire-Rescue to complete the staffing model of having four full-time personnel on all staffed fire trucks.
In addition, funding in the FY 2020-2021 budget will provide pay equity for staff and enable the Town to fix longstanding compensation issues affecting nearly half of all Town and Garner Fire-Rescue employees.
The approved budget also provides funding that will help the Town prepare for an upcoming bond referendum that will likely be on the November 2021 municipal ballot. One-time funding will help the Town finish analyzing potential bond projects to determine feasibility and establish cost estimates. There will also be funding for an engineering plan reviewer position. This would allow an existing Engineering employee to become a dedicated capital projects manager for bond projects.