Johnston Co Commissioners Reduce Property Tax Rate In 2023-24 Budget

JCPS will receive 100% of Current Expense request
Pay raise included for all county employees
Funds approved to transition away from trash decal program in 2024-25 fiscal year

SMITHFIELD – The Johnston County Board of Commissioners adopted a $351 million budget at Monday evening’s regularly scheduled Board meeting. Commissioners approved a reduction to the property tax rate from 73 cents per $100 of property value to 69 cents per $100 of property value. 

“This Board continues to let our priorities guide us in the upcoming fiscal year by maintaining our role as financial stewards of County funds,” said Board Chairman, Butch Lawter. “We have made an effort to emphasize every priority in this budget including public safety, education funding, infrastructure, land use, County employee retention and recruitment, and financial stewardship. This budget is a direct reflection of many hours of careful planning and foresight and I want to thank the rest of the Board and County staff for helping us pass a balanced budget.”

Commissioners fulled-funded Johnston County Public Schools request for Current Expenses at $88,497,179. The board of education also requested $10 million for Capital Outlay. Commissioners approved $6 million for capital outlay. (JCPS received $85.5 million for Current Expense and no money for Capital Outlay in the 2022-23 budget.)

Commissioners approved up to $4 million to 911 communications for communications operability improvements in schools. 

Johnston Community College will receive $6,912,390 for current expenses and $1.2 million for capital outlay. Commissioners also voted to approve $50,000 to the Veterans Services Office to assist local veterans with transportation. 

Funding highlights from this year’s budget include:

  • A 5% pay adjustment for County employees in July with the possibility of a 2% performance pay adjustment in October. 
  • The Town of Micro will receive up to $180,000 for the Micro community building project subject to project updates prior to disbursement of funds. 
  • The Board approved $325,000 to Harbor of Johnston County.
  • $100,000 will be appropriated to Project Access.
  • An appropriation of $100,000 to My Kids Club.
  • Princeton Little Tar Heel League will receive $100,000. 
  • The Board appropriated $45,000 to Smithfield Rescue Mission.
  • Designate present use value rollback funds on a recurring fiscal year basis for land preservation projects that would be approved by the Board on a case by case basis.
  • An appropriation of $825,000 to the Triangle Land Conservancy using $110,000 from PUV Rollback and $715,000 from the County’s General Fund. 
  • Community and Senior Services will receive an additional $12,000 for the match needed for their increased Home and Community Care block grant.
  • Appropriate a sum of $650,000, one-time, to the solid waste fund for solid waste convenience centers to transition away from the decal program starting in fiscal year 2024-2025. Decals will be sold quarterly on a prorated basis for fiscal year 2023-2024.

– Q1: $100
– Q2: $75
– Q3: $50
– Q4: $25
The Board will evaluate an enterprise fund availability fee to be adopted at a later meeting for implementation in fiscal year 2024-2025.

  • Commissioners approved a one-time, $4.2 million allocation for the start of phase two of the fire tax funding matrix. They also instructed staff to create a single County fire protection service district. The Board will move to adopt a Countywide fire service district based on fire protection service needs effective in fiscal year 2024-2025.
  • Approval of individual fire tax service district rate adjustments.

– Brogden Fire Department: $0.12
– Selma Fire Department: $0.13 
– Antioch Fire Department: $0.10 
– North Side Fire Department: $0.12
– Wilson’s Mills Fire Department: $0.08
– Claytex Fire District: $0.15
– 50/210 Fire Department: $0.095

  • Reduce expenses in manager’s proposed budget by $22 million. The majority of these expenses are designated as capital-outlay related.
  • Appropriate $550,000 to the Johnston County Economic Development Corporation to develop and fund an economic development program in Johnston County to attract new or expanding businesses with the JoCo Building Reuse Program.
  • Concurrence with the RTZ Board on maintaining an eight cents property tax rate in the RTZ.


  1. This budget is a 13% increase over last year (and what was originally approved for FY 22-23). They may call themselves Republicans, but our JoCo commissioners are no different than tax-and-spend socialists who only know how to expand the government and increase spending. How I yearn for the fiscal conservatives of my youth! #VoteOutIncumbents

  2. Ya’ll know they only did this because revaluation is underway and property taxes will increase as the values are adjusted. Good ole JoCo

  3. Interesting. So does this truly mean a small tax decrease for 2024? Remember, we are under a revaluation, scheduled to wrap up at the end of next year. I have a feeling this is a way for the commissioners to ease the pain associated with what will almost certainly be a 20-30% jump due to pandemic-era price appreciation in our area.

  4. Less than a 5.5% property tax reduction while property values have increased 20-30% or more. Does anyone see a problem with this???

    • Your property value increase 20-30% and your upset?!?!? This is the problem with our education system — people don’t understand that an appreciating asset is a good thing! /smh

  5. Tell the truth, would a 13% increase also be explained by the increase in residents of the county? More homes, more tax income, bigger budget to handle the increased demand for services?

    Or are you of the opinion that we should keep operating on a budget from years past with no adjustment for population increases?

    • @Jay: I’m of the opinion that the overwhelming spending by municipal governments can be doen cheaper and more efficiently by the private sector. A larger government is never the right answer. Unless you thinkbthe government is 13% more efficient, the excess spending is just waste. I think we should remove nearly all taxes and move to a pay-per-service model. The current model too closely mimics Socialism and we know that’s NEVER the right way!

    • Someone on the board from Princeton area wants to get re-elected. That is like winning the lottery for the Tar Heel league. Like wow it is little league!

  6. Hmmm, so the school system asked for more money even though they had upwards of 400 positions go infilled for 22-23… what happened to the funds for those positions?

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