County Faces $20 Million In Cuts This Year; $95 Million In Reductions, 500 Layoffs Forecast For 2011 Budget
Charlotte, N.C. – Amid continuing economic challenges, Mecklenburg County Manager Harry L. Jones Sr. has directed County department directors to cut $13.2 million from the current budget, effective immediately. These reductions address a revenue shortfall made worse by a decrease in anticipated revenue from sales tax as well as fees for County services.
In addition to the cuts, the County will use $14.6 million from its fund balance to help offset the overall reduction of budgeted revenue. The County has also implemented an immediate hiring freeze, with the exception of positions created to support Child Support Enforcement, a mandate passed to the County by the State of North Carolina.
Jones will ask the Board of County Commissioners to approve a reduction of $6.3 million from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools budget, and plans to cut Central Piedmont Community College funding by $489,586.
As part of these reductions, 45 filled positions in Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement will be eliminated as of May 5, 2010. This reduction in force is driven by a severe drop in construction in Mecklenburg County and accompanying decrease in building permit fees that fund Code Enforcement services.
Jones also announced that he is preparing for an $85 million budget shortfall for Fiscal Year 2011. He has instructed department directors to make targeted cuts that total $95 million in order to bridge the gap as well as replenish the fund balance used during FY 2010.
These FY 2011 cuts include potential layoffs of more than 500 employees and possible elimination of more than 100 vacant positions.
"I want to emphasize that this is not my FY 2011 recommended budget," Jones said. "That recommendation will be provided to the Board in May, with the Board making its final decision in June. Still, based on the brutal facts regarding our current conditions, we need to prepare ourselves for major change in the form of budget and service reductions."
For the first time in many years, Mecklenburg County is projecting no growth in its property tax base. This means the County will collect about the same amount in property taxes that it collected in FY 2010. Additionally, other sources of revenue including sales tax and fees for services are expected to decrease. At its strategic planning conference in February, the Board of County Commissioners indicated that it preferred not to raise property taxes.
Targets given to County department directors for FY 2011 include the following reductions:
• Overall average cuts of more than 16 percent with some departments cut up to 50 percent of the current annual budget
• Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Central Piedmont Community College cuts of more than 6 percent
o CMS - $21.5 million
o CPCC - $1.5 million
• Total outside agency funding cut by 74% percent
Read the latest budget update from the County Manager's Office for more details on how the reductions will affect County services and staff.
Media contact: Danny Diehl at 704-336-2084, 704-572-1035 or Daniel.Diehl@MecklenburgCountyNC.gov