Durham Bond Referendum: What Residents Need to Know


Before the General Election on November 8, Durham County residents will want to be well-informed on what’s involved with the 2016 Bond Referendum that will be on the ballot. Residents are encouraged to become very familiar with the bond referendum details, as the upcoming ballot will be lengthy and yield results affecting many areas of local, state, and federal government. Here’s what you need to know.

A bond referendum is a voting process that enables voters to decide if a county should be authorized to raise funds for building costs and maintenance of special projects through the sale of bonds. Since the Durham County budget is unable to accommodate a large number of projects at once, bonds provide a long-term borrowing process that enables the county to spread the cost of projects over the life of the improvements.

On August 8, 2016, the Durham County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to place four bond referendums on the November ballot: school bonds ($90.9 million), community college bonds ($20 million), library facilities bonds ($44.3 million), and museum bonds ($14.1 million). In all, Durham County residents will be asked to approve $170 million in bond referendums.

Supporting the Bond Referendum will result in a property tax increase of 2.5 cents for residents, which would commence in fiscal year 2017-18 (see chart for example tax rate impacts).


School Bonds

School referendum bonds will include money for additional buildings; remodeling, enlarging, and reconstructing existing buildings; and land, furnishings, and equipment. More than half the money, or $51.9 million, will be placed toward replacing Northern High, as the current school was built in the 1950s. The board is hopeful that construction for the new Northern High could begin in spring 2018, with the new school opening its doors in fall 2020.

Community College Bonds

Community college bonds would be put toward expanding and improving facilities at Durham Technical Community College.

Library Facilities Bonds

Library facilities bonds would be used for enlarging and improving Durham Public Library facilities, including the Main Library located at 300 N. Roxboro Street.

Museum Bonds

Museum bonds would be used for a parking deck at the Museum of Life and Science, along with improvements of exhibits and visitor facilities.

Make your voice heard and don’t miss your opportunity to vote on this important issue. There will be separate ballot questions for each of the four projects, so you are not required to vote for all four bonds. Early voting for the General Election begins on October 20 and ends on November 5. Election day for Durham Bond Referendum 2016 is November 8.

For more information on voter registration, early voting, polling locations, sample ballots, frequently asked questions, and more, you can visit the Durham County website’s Board of Elections page. To learn more about living in Durham, contact us at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected]. See our latest listings at realestateexperts.net.