The budget provides the Board of Education a means to give all school employees a 3 percent raise – or lose $18.5 million designated for salary increases
The $1.42 billion budget is $31.3 million, or 2.3 percent, more than the current year’s adopted budget. The new budget takes effect on July 1, 2012, with a new tax rate of 79.22 cents per $100 of property value. The owner of a home assessed at $200,000 will pay $49 less in property taxes.
County Manager Harry Jones has said his recommended budget focused on sustaining County operations while maintaining fiscal discipline. The adopted budget mostly mirrors the budget recommended by Jones on May 15, with some exceptions.
While the Board kept Jones’ recommended $335 million operating budget for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools – an additional $9.1 million above the current year’s allocation – the Board restricted $18.5 million of that amount contingent on all CMS employees receiving a 3 percent salary increase. If CMS officials do not provide the raise, the district will not receive the $18.5 million.
Board members added other items to the budget and voted to pay for the additional expenses by increasing the sales tax revenue projection by $758,000. The Board’s add-ons included:
- $243,000 for the Battered Women’s Shelter, included in Domestic Violence Adult Victim Services
- $150,000 additional for the County’s Health Department for chronic disease prevention and wellness
- $100,000 for Care Ring Physicians Reach Out
- $95,000 for a one-time assist to the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte
- $65,000 to Levine Senior Center, in restricted contingency pending a review of potential consolidation with other senior centers
- $55,000 to Legal Services of the Southern Piedmont to help veterans access legal services
- $50,000 to MedAssist
Following is a list of other budget highlights:
- Central Piedmont Community College: $27.1 million for operating costs, an increase of $1.2 million from the current year; and an additional $200,000 for the WTVI public television transition
- Park and Recreation: $727,000 to develop and operate two new parks opening in FY13; expand the youth employment program from 30 to 45 youths, and replace park maintenance equipment
- Library: $811,000 to restore Sunday operations of regional libraries throughout the County
- Employees: 2 percent increase to payroll for merit pay raises, and a full restoration to 5 percent for the County’s match of employee voluntary contributions to 401k and 457b retirement plans
- Public Health: $2.7 million in transition start-up costs in preparation for the County’s July 1, 2013 take-over of Health Department operations from Carolinas HealthCare System
- Fire Protection Service District Tax: The Board authorized the Fire Protection Service District Tax which created five Fire Protection Service Districts with separate tax rates to generate revenue to pay for volunteer fire services. The rates vary by district with most set at 5 cents and one at 7 cents
- Law Enforcement Service District Tax: A tax rate of 19.37 cents, an increase of 0.71 cents, for residents who live in the unincorporated area – outside of a city or town limit – of Mecklenburg County
Find budget information at the County’s official website: www.MecklenburgCountyNC.gov