Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee wants council to approve a property tax increase to help fund a Capital Improvement Plan.
Otherwise, the budget he proposed Monday night looks pretty much like last year's budget. It totals just just under $2 billion, or 1.5 percent above this past year. That increase accounts for an estimated rise in costs and a slight pay raise for city employees, but otherwise keeps spending the same as last year. Here’s the full breakdown:
The Capital Improvement Plan largely mirrors the plan council failed to pass last year, but with one notable exception: No streetcar. Disagreement over the streetcar torpedoed the plan last year. Carlee says he will introduce a separate funding plan for the streetcar in a couple of weeks, after further study.
That didn't stop council from discussing it for an hour during Monday's meeting.
“Well, that’s a pretty good indication though about how this streetcar’s still going to divide this community,” Councilman Andy Dulin concluded. “It’s going to be a rodeo again, folks.”
To pay for the CIP, the council would raise the property tax by 3.17 cents, an increase the majority of council members have said they can support. That amounts to a $95 tax hike on a $200,000 home. Here’s the city’s estimate of the impact of that increase on homeowners, based on the price of their homes:
- The city expects to lose about $5 million from the revised property revaluation by Mecklenburg County.
- The budget would raise the property tax by another 0.8 cents to account for the revaluation loss, but not until the 2015 budget.