City manager Tai Jaiyeoba’s 2022-23 fiscal year budget includes a 30% increase in property tax.
Jaiyeoba’s budget maintains the property tax rate at its current level of 66.25 cents, but due to the reassessment, keeping the property tax rate flat results in a 30% increase in the tax for the owner medium. The neutral rate for revenue, which would generate the same amount of revenue as if there had been no revaluation, is 54.56.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan said that due to the need to increase employee salaries, especially for police, firefighters and 911 subway workers, the majority of the city council realizes the city cannot reduce the tax rate to the revenue neutral rate.
But she said the property tax hike proposed by Jaiyeoba was too high.
She said: ‘I think we have to go down at least 6 cents and that’s a minimum. I would like to see him go down more than that.
But she said the conditions warranted increased spending by the city.
Vaughan said, “We’re not even in the ballpark when it comes to public safety.”
She said a recent Greensboro Police Academy graduate left the next day to take up a position at a nearby police department and some police departments in the state were paying signing bonuses of up to $7,500.
The Greensboro Police Department has currently lost more than 100 sworn officers from its authorized strength of 679, and more positions are being filled.
Vaughan said if the city council doesn’t take action, the fire department is headed in the same direction and Guilford’s 911 subway currently has about the maximum number of vacancies it can handle.
But she said there seemed to be plenty of places in the budget where spending could be cut. An example given by Vaughan was the use of US bailout money for capital improvements like replacing roofs.
Jaiyeoba objected to this suggestion earlier because he said ARP money was one-time money and should not be used for expenses like roof replacement. But replacing a roof is also a one-time expense and it’s the kind of expense that should be paid for with one-time money.
It seems that Jaiyeoba and some members of the city council have wildly different ideas about the budget, and by the end of June, when the city council passes the 2022-2023 budget, the people of Greensboro will find out who’s running the city – the city manager or city council.