City officials begin 2021-2022 budget process

City officials begin 2021-2022 budget process
June 03
11:27 2021

City officials have released the 2021-2022 proposed budget.

During a virtual meeting on Thursday, May 27, city officials unveiled the $530.9 million budget to members of the Winston-Salem City Council. As is, the budget includes a sales tax increase, a property tax bill increase, and funds for the creation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office.

A breakdown of the proposed budget shows $380.4 million for operations, $110 million for capital, and $40. 5 million for debt service. When looking at local sales tax from the last fiscal year (FY), Winston-Salem saw a $7.8 million increase in revenue and as a result, city officials are looking to increase sales tax by 2.5%. According to Patrice Toney, the city’s budget and evaluation director, the increase is reasonable and in line with the N.C. League of Municipalities

“This growth is in line with the N.C. League of Municipalities and what they’re estimating the sales tax growth to be,” Toney continued. “It’s reasonable in the sense that you don’t want over-project based on how people are spending.”

The budget presented last week shows a proposed property tax rate of 62.24¢ which is 1.5 cent less than last year, but although the rate will probably drop, many property owners may still see their tax bill increase. The Forsyth County Tax Office conducted an appraisal of real property earlier this year and the value of homes increased by 14.8% on average, which could drive tax bills up. “Some property owners had more growth in value, others had less, but on average it was 14.8% growth,” Toney said while discussing the appraisal process.  

“So prior to reevaluation, your home value may have been $200,000; that means the current bill, at the current rate, would’ve been $1,275. After the reevaluation, your home value may have grown, if it grew on average (14.8%), to $229,600. So what we’re proposing is that we reduce the rate from the 63.4¢ to 62.24¢ so then your new bill, at the proposed rate, will be $1,429. So that’s a difference in your bill of $154 annually,” she said

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) office will comprise four positions: diversity, equity and inclusion director, equity and inclusion coordinator, equity assurance administrator, and administrative assistant. According to a brief description of the office published in the proposed budget, DEI will “create a work plan that fosters cultural literacy and addresses challenges around issues of social justice, equity, and bias within the organization and process that impact the community.”

Winston-Salem is the only major city in N.C. that doesn’t have a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office. 

Nathan Borne, chairman of the Citizens’ Budget Advisory Council (CBAC), said when it comes to things like the Office of Diversity Equity and Inclusion, and the $1 million that the city plans to allocate for social justice programs, he wants to see the city track the progress of the programs and initiatives and make sure that objectives are being met. 

“I’m pleased to live in a city with such a progressive government, and I know my group members share those same sentiments, but we want to make sure we see some clear performance objectives in place,” he said. 

Borne also mentioned they would like to see more equity as it relates to social justice. He said they would like to see more zoning and policies that encourage patterns that can lead to greater equity. “We want to make sure that we don’t have race-based zoning that could provide barriers in certain segments of our citizens. We also want to identify and implement key metrics to improve overtime, again with specific, measurable goals,” he said. 

Over the next three weeks, the city will host a series of workshops and a public hearing on the proposed budget. The public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, June 3, at 7 p.m.,  and City Council will adopt the budget during the meeting on Monday, June 21. 

The 2021-2022 proposed budget can be viewed by visiting or by visiting the city’s website.

About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors