Streetcar

It's time again for the city of Charlotte to draw up its annual budget – including a renewed push to raise property taxes for capital projects. Last year's capital investment program proved so large – and divisive – that the council and mayor couldn't agree on any plan.  They still can't. And in the interim, those divisions have proven to run deeper than city council politics.  They've shown up across Charlotte and they're the topic of a special WFAE public forum Thursday at 7 p.m. at Spirit Square. 

Julie Rose

The Charlotte City Council learned Wednesday the price of its inaction on a capital investment plan. What they could have done last year by increasing the property tax rate 3.6 cents will now require an increase of more than 4 cents – and that doesn't even include the controversial streetcar. 


Charlotte's new city manager went on WFAE's Charlotte Talks Wednesday to get more specific about his views on issues the city faces – including transit and airport management. 

Julie Rose

It's day two on the job for Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee who was sworn in Monday night. But Carlee says he's actually been working for several weeks to get his arms around the many hot button issues facing the city right now.

Julie Rose

After nearly a year of deliberations, the Charlotte City Council met Wednesday to outline a compromise plan for raising property taxes to fund capital improvement projects.  But they're still hung up over the sticking point that derailed the nearly $1 billion program last year:  the streetcar.

It really does feel like déjà vu. Even members of the city council have lost count of the special meetings they've held trying to work out their differences on whether to raise property taxes for a billion dollars worth of infrastructure and economic development projects.

McCrory Warns: Streetcar Could Risk Charlotte's Light Rail

Feb 1, 2013
File Photo / Charlotte Observer

Gov. Pat McCrory told two city of Charlotte staff members this week that state money for the light-rail extension to UNC Charlotte could be at risk if the city builds a controversial streetcar, according to a memo sent Thursday.

Without the N.C. Department of Transportation’s $250 million grant, the $1.1 billion Lynx Blue Line extension can’t be built to University City.

Charlotte City Council Punts On Streetcar Debate

Dec 17, 2012

The Charlotte City Council has, yet again, delayed a decision on raising taxes to fund capital improvements, including a streetcar extension.

The mayor convened three meetings this fall to work out a compromise. But Monday the council decided it would rather wait and tackle the tax hike plan in the spring when it's approving the rest of the city budget.

Councilman James Mitchell cited uncertainty about taxes and spending at the state and federal level in urging the delay. But Councilwoman Patsy Kinsey doubts a few more months will make a compromise more likely.  

Council Seeks To Settle Streetcar Debate Monday

Nov 23, 2012

Budget debates don't typically get underway for the city of Charlotte until May – but the council has spent the last several months getting a head-start on deliberations.

Monday will be the last of three special sessions organized by Mayor Anthony Foxx to find consensus on a pet project - streetcar through Uptown Charlotte.

Julie Rose / WFAE

As the Charlotte City Council works to find agreement on a proposed tax increase to pay for infrastructure improvements, Mayor Anthony Foxx is pitching his preferred approach in town hall meetings across the city. Thursday night, he ventured into unfriendly territory at the Ballantyne Hotel where a crowd of about 100 challenged his proposal. 

Mayor Foxx was about 30 minutes into his presentation explaining the rationale for a $1 billion infrastructure plan paid for by a 3.5 cent property tax hike before he finally mentioned the piece he knew would draw fire from the group.

Streetcar Still Stymies Charlotte City Council

Oct 31, 2012
Charmeck.org

Charlotte City Council members Tuesday held the second of three special budget meetings scheduled before the end of the year, seeking a solution to their months-long impasse. Whether or not to include a streetcar line in the city’s near-term spending plan remains the sticking point.

The streetcar is only $119 million of a more than $900 million proposal to raise property taxes and spend the money on projects meant to spur development in struggling areas of Charlotte.

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