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City Council Approves Budget, Community Investment Plan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 09, 2014
 
Contact: Keith Richardson, Corporate Communications & Marketing
704.336.5865 (Office)
704.408.5335 (Mobile)
kmrichardson@charlottenc.gov
 
 
City Council Approves Budget, Community Investment Plan
 
The City Council approved the FY2015 Operating Budget and five-year Community Investment Plan, which totals $2.1 billion, at their June 9th Business Meeting. City Manager Ron Carlee presented his budget recommendations on May 5th which he emphasized were:
 
  • Stable and practical 
  • Consistent with Council policy
  • Represented a strong value to both tax and rate payers.  

The City budget sustains essential services in public safety, the environment, transportation, and neighborhood and business services. The property tax rate is unchanged from the prior fiscal year.  Residential service fees increase (water/sewer, storm water) will increase 1.6% reflecting the cost of services.  The impact to the typical homeowner would be $1.97 more per month for these services. The budget also includes a 20¢ base transit fare increase to support rising costs and service expansion.
 
The following table reflects the FY2015 City tax and fee impact for a home value at the 50th percentile ($151,300), calculated based on owner-occupied, single family homes using the 2012 Quality of Life data.

 
 
City of Charlotte taxes & fees
50th percentile home value
Prior Year
FY2014
Recommended
FY2015
$
Change
%
Change
Property taxes on $151,300 home
$709.14
$709.14
$0.00
0.0%
Solid Waste fee (Residential)
$47.00
$47.00
$0.00
0.0%
Water & Sewer (Average user rate)
$662.04
$682.80
$20.76
3.1%
Storm Water (Average user rate)
$94.68
$97.56
$2.88
3.0%
Total Annual
$1,512.86
$1,536.50
$23.64
1.6%
Total Monthly
$126.07
$128.04
$1.97
1.6%

 
 
“The City Council spent the last several weeks reviewing the City Manager’s recommendations, collecting public input and making adjustments as needed.” said Mayor Dan Clodfelter. “While navigating the process presented some challenges, I support the Council’s decision to adopt a budget that keeps the property tax rate flat, while sustaining the essential services of the City. As we look ahead, we know we must continue to support the growth of Charlotte but also provide a strong value for our citizens.”
 
Additional key components of the FY2015 budget include adjustments in pay as well as insurance costs for City employees:
 
  • Public safety employees would receive a 1.5% market increase plus a “step” increase of 2.5% or 5% (up to top step) 
  •  A 3% merit pool would be allocated for general employees  

The budget approval also allows for a $146 million bond package on this November’s ballot, as part of the City’s $816.4 million General Community Investment Plan (with additional bond referenda planned for 2016, 2018 and 2020). This comprehensive strategy focuses on community livability, job growth, and helping residents get around the community. The package would include bonds to fund transportation (e.g. streets, bridges, sidewalks, pedestrian features and traffic control), neighborhood improvements, and affordable housing.
 
The approved Community Investment Plan also includes key infrastructure projects in the City’s Enterprise Funds such as Airport terminal expansion, the CATS LYNX Blue Line transit extension, storm water flood control and repairs, as well as Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility water/sewer line rehabilitation and upgrades.
 
While the majority of the City Manager’s recommendations were met with approval, City Council made some adjustments to the budget during the process which included:

 

  • Out of School Time Partners (after school programs) – Restored funding for Above & Beyond Students at their FY2014 level and provided funding for YWCA at their FY2013 level for a total additional amount of $175,261;
  • Charlotte Regional Partnership – Increased operating funding by $16,974 to reflect updated membership dues; and
  • Historic District Commission – Added a Principal Planner position and associated operating costs to support preservation of Historic Districts in the amount of $88,322.

Overall, the FY2015 budget includes operating allocations that efficiently maintain core services upon which residents can depend, as well as infrastructure investments that address the needs of a growing community.