• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Proposed county budget maintains services with no tax rate increase

County Manager Dudley Watts presented a proposed $531 million budget to Forsyth County commissioners on May 26 that accounts for the current challenging economic environment, but does not raise the property tax rate.

The proposed balanced budget maintains the current property tax rate of 67.78 cent per $100 of property value, while maintaining the current level of county services. In the Manager’s Message in the budget, County Manager Dudley Watts talked about the current uncertainty in the economy.

“Local government budgeting is a challenge by definition,” said Watts. “The pandemic and the resulting economic uncertainty have made the situation particularly difficult at least in the short term.

Watts said the budget takes into account the current uncertainties in the economy and will make sure services are there for county residents and that county employees continue to receive competitive pay and benefits.

“As the Board debates this spending plan, the economic reality includes some unprecedented complicating factors - inflation, continued supply chain interruptions, a highly competitive labor market driven in part by continued lower labor participation rates, low unemployment and recessionary fears. Management and Budget leaders have attempted to account for all of these factors as we develop the County Manager’s recommended budget.”

The recommended budget is a balanced continuation budget, which is how much it costs to continue providing county services at their current level. The budget also lists alternate service level requests, which are funding requests from departments that the commissioners could decide to include in the budget.

The recommended budget follows the county’s fiscal policies, including adhering to a debt limit policy of 18 percent, keeping fund balance reserves of 14 percent, and debt leveling.

Budget meetings are held at the Forsyth County Government Center, 201 N. Chestnut Street. Free parking will be available in the Government Center’s parking deck when the meetings are being held.

The budget process will continue with a detailed Budget Presentation that will start at 9 a.m. on June 2 in the Government Center’s fourth floor Multi-Purpose Room. This will not be televised on WSTV, but the public is welcome to attend.

The rest of the meetings will be held in the Commissioners Meeting Room on the fifth floor of the Government Center. They’ll be televised live and live streamed on WSTV and will be live streamed on the county commissioners’ website at and on the county’s Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo accounts:

  • A Public Hearing on the budget, where residents can give their comments, will be held at 2 p.m. on June 6. Comments can be made in-person or by calling 336-422-1200 at 1:45 p.m. on the day of the meeting. Callers will be placed on hold and recognized to speak in the order their call were received.
  • Budget Workshops will be held June 7 and 8 at 9 a.m.
  • A Special Meeting, where the commissioners may possibly adopt the budget, will be held on June 9 at 2 p.m.

If the budget isn’t adopted by the commissioners on June 9, they would consider it at a later meeting in June, but prior to June 30, as required by the North Carolina General Statutes.

The proposed budget is available for review in the County Commissioners’ Office at the Government Center, on the Budget Department webpage at forsyth.cc/Budget/, and copies will also be distributed to county libraries.

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