WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem city council voted unanimously to adopt their 2022-2023 budget. The budget total is just over $627 million.
The total was a $95.3 million increase from the city's 2021-22 budget.
The budget includes a 2.4 cent property tax rate hike. The new rate is 63.6 cents per $100 valuation. The 2021 rate was 61.2 cents per $100 valuation.
For further context, the city's 2020 rate was very similar at 63.7 cents per $100 valuation. The rate in 2019 was much lower at 59.7 cents per $100 valuation.
The city opted to keep the ad valorum tax that applies to property in the Downtown Winston-Salem Business Improvement District. It is an additional 9 cents per $100 in property taxes.
The city said this money will be used to "raise revenue to provide for enhanced services and programs in the Downtown Winston-Salem Business Improvement District for fiscal year 2022-2023". The city went into further specifics, saying the the tax will pay for $659,180 worth of downtown improvements.
Here are a few other highlights in the newly approved Winston-Salem city budget:
- $700,000 for a Behavioral Evaluation and response (or BEAR) program.
- $1 million to increase pay for firefighters.
- 35 new positions across all city departments. 14 are specifically for in-house recycling collections. Seven are for a behavioral health response teams pilot project.
- 2.7% increase in water and sewer rates.
- $55 million in bond money will fund infrastructure improvements. That includes $21.5 million for bridge replacement and street resurfacing. Another $8.75 million will go toward improvements at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, Truist Stadium and Bowman Grey Stadium.
- $14.5 million will go to public transportation.
- $3.3 million will pay for a new fire truck and other fire department needs.