FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Contact: Kim McMillan, 704-336-2643
During its business meeting on June 25, Charlotte City Council approved an operating budget totaling $1.15 billion for Fiscal Year 2013 and $3.3 billion for other capital projects including $1.2 billion for transit, $1 billion for the airport, $622 million for utilities, and $261 million for storm water over the next five years. Council did not approve any funding for a future general capital program (i.e. transportation, neighborhoods, and affordable housing projects), citing the need for further study of capital needs, as well as a desire to build consensus among the community and the elected body itself. The Council action keeps the City’s tax rate flat at 43.7¢ per $100 valuation.
In May, City Manager Curt Walton proposed a $926 million capital investment package funded by a 3.6¢ property tax increase. The plan’s goal was to ensure adequate capital investments to help neighborhoods and businesses have the necessary foundation to thrive and compete in a global economy. The passage of the operating budget includes:
- $500,000 for four crime analysts and three telecommunicators for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
- $1.1 million to offset increased fuel costs
- $1.4 million increase for maintenance and repair of City vehicles and equipment
CATS, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department and Storm Water
The approved operating budget also included increases in rates and charges to fund infrastructure expansions that accommodate growing service demands. The average monthly water/sewer bill will increase $3.30 going from $56.23 to $59.53, and the average monthly storm water fees will rise 42¢ from $7.06 to $7.48. Also, the Charlotte Area Transit System’s base fare will increase 25¢ to support public transit program efforts.
Employee Compensation and Benefits Summary
Compensation and benefit changes for employees and retirees include the following:
- A redesign of the Public Safety Pay Plan and funding for merit steps of 2.5% or 5% for those below the maximum pay step and a 1.5% market adjustment
- Funding for a 3% merit budget for the Broadbanding Pay Plan
- Modify the medical plan designs to ensure the City’s plans continue to contain costs, promote in-network utilization and remain competitive with market practices
- Increase of 2% in City’s cost
- Increase of 2% for medical premiums in the higher “plus” medical plan for City employees
- No increase in medical premiums for employees choosing the base medical plan
- Extension of benefits to same sex domestic partners
- Evaluation of offering a network based dental plan with a high and low dental option
- Amendment to the Shared Sick Leave policy to allow use of shared sick leave for a catastrophic Workers’ Compensation covered illness or injury
- For retiree only medical coverage, an increase in the retiree share from 37.5% to 42.5% of the premium. For retiree and dependent coverage, an increase in the retiree share from 47.5% to 50% of the premium.
- Non Medicare retirees may experience an increase of $22.09 per month to $59.20 per month depending on the plan and level of coverage. Non-Medicare retirees changing from the Plus to the Basic plan may experience a premium decrease depending on the coverage selected. Rebidding the Medicare-eligible retiree plan, and upon completion of this process, the City will determine if plan and vendor changes are required.
For more information on the approved budget, visit citybudget.charmeck.org.