Forsyth County Budget & Management

Proposed County budget maintains services with slight tax increase

County Manager Dudley Watts presented a proposed $581 million budget to Forsyth County Commissioners on May 30 that maintains County services with a less than half a cent tax increase.

The proposed balanced budget has a tax rate of 68.23 cent per $100 property value, a .45 cent increase from the current rate of 67.78 cent. It has a 2 percent increase in spending over the current budget and maintains the current levels of service. This budget is a return to normal after several years of local governments receiving federal funding related to the pandemic and its economic impacts while planning for an expected recession that didn’t manifest.

"I would say it’s a hold the line budget that maintains service levels and it really is kind of a return to normalcy,” said Watts.

The largest proposed increase in net County dollars is for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, which would receive $175.8 million, an increase of $6.7 million over the current fiscal year. This increase includes $2.5 million for salary and benefit increases to match increases in the State budget, $500,000 for additional classified employee pay, $2 million for a computer refresh, and $1.7 million in radio upgrades for buses and schools.

The second largest increase is in the proposed budget for the Sheriff’s Office, with an increase of $4.6 million over this fiscal year that reflects the increased pay for detention officers and deputies that Commissioners approved in September to address staffing shortages. Since then, detention officer vacancies have dropped more than half, from 112 to 49, and deputy vacancies have dropped from 26 to 23.

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 6 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 here and on the County’s Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo accounts:

  • A Detailed Budget Review that will start at 9 a.m. on June 6.
  • A Public Hearing on the budget, where residents can give their comments, will be held at 6 p.m. on June 10 at the Government Center. Those wishing to give comments remotely should call 336-422-1200 at 5:45 p.m. on the day of the meeting. They will be placed on hold and recognized to speak in the order their calls were received.
  • Budget Workshops will be held June 11 and 12 starting at 9 a.m.
  • A Special Meeting, where the Commissioners may possibly adopt the budget, will be held on June 13 at 2 p.m.

If the budget isn’t adopted by the Commissioners on June 13, 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, and copies will also be distributed to County libraries.

The Forsyth County Budget and Management Department is responsible for the preparation, administration, and compilation of the annual budget for all County services. Budget & Management is a support department for the County Manager’s Office.

Specific activities include:

  • Expenditure and revenue forecasting;
  • Assistance and advise to departments regarding budget requests and amendments;
  • Analyze all budget requests and preparation of the County Manager’s annual recommended budget;
  • Preparation of the recommended and approved operating budget presentations and documents;
  • Prepare and update the County’s multi-year capital improvement plan;
  • Management of non-profit and outside agency budget requests and administration of funding; and,
  • Perform management analysis and program evaluation for the County Manager, Board of County Commissioners, and County departments.

Thank you for your interest in Forsyth County, North Carolina. And remember, please let us know how we're doing by clicking the "We Care" link on the right-hand side of the County’s home page.

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