Winston-Salem City Council passed a $607.8 million budget Tuesday that includes a 2.5 cent property tax rate increase and a pay raise for police.

The approval raises the minimum salary for sworn officers to $52,500. Current police staff will receive a salary adjustment of around 10 percent, according to a city news release. The budget eliminated 50 vacant police positions to fund the pay increase.

City employees' minimum wage will also rise to $15.45 an hour on Jan. 1. The pay raises will help with employee retention and fill vacancies, the news release said. This year's budget adds no new positions to the city's personnel count.

The property tax rate will be set at 66.1 cents for every $100 in valuation. Water and sewer rates will increase by 7 percent beginning July 1. This is around a $6.86 bi-monthly increase for the average resident.

Stormwater fees will increase by 8 percent on Jan. 1.

The budget for next fiscal year begins July 1.

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