Greensboro City Council has approved a budget for the new fiscal year that begins July 1.

City leaders gave the green light for the $543.5 million budget during a meeting on Tuesday. While property taxes won't increase, the city is raising the water and sewer rate by 3.5 percent for all users. That money will help pay for ongoing improvements and upgrades.

The new budget also includes pay bumps for many city workers. Council approved an average three percent merit increase for eligible employees.

And it's raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour for benefitted workers.

“Poverty issues and addressing issues of housing and affordable housing is a concern of our council and a priority of our council, and so I think this was an effort as well to address our own employees that we are paying and making sure that we are moving folks up into a more livable wage,” says David Parrish, Greensboro City Manager.

The minimum wage increase is expected to impact around 300 city workers. Parrish says the budget fully funds the 2008, 2009 and 2016 bond referenda passed by Greensboro voters.

Earlier this week, Winston-Salem City Council also approved a budget for the new fiscal year. It includes raising the minimum wage for city workers to $12.50 per hour, a ten percent increase.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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