CHARLOTTE – Charlotte City Council adopted a $2.6 billion fiscal year 2020 budget on June 13 with no tax increase.
The budget enhances city government’s goal of becoming a more collaborative, responsive organization focused on providing high-quality services in a cost-effective and accountable manner.
“City Manager Marcus Jones and Team Charlotte have created a citywide budget that focuses on the people of Charlotte and keeps our city affordable, while still fulfilling the needs of a growing city,” Mayor Vi Lyles said.
Tariq Bokhari, who represents south Charlotte, commended staff on addressing things like tree planting, economic development and police salaries. He noted how the budget overhauls how government operates, moving from vertical silos to horizontal cross-departmental views that saved $5 million.
“It was really just an incredible job,” Bokhari said. “Doing all that in a revenue-neutral manner that requires no property tax increase is quite frankly a testament to the quality of the staff and what can be done.”
The city outlined its budget in five themes:
• Adopting a budget that aligns with city council priorities, including neighborhood development, transportation and planning, and economic development.
• Remaining structurally balanced with a $2.6 billion budget.
• Maintaining a revenue-neutral property tax rate of 34.81 cents per $100 assessed valuation.
Recognition of Team Charlotte
• Providing a minimum pay increase of $2,080, or $1 per hour, for all general employees earning less than $69,333 per year and who have a positive performance review to help address upward mobility in the organization.
• Providing a 3% combined pay increase for general employees earning more than $69,333 and who have a positive performance review.
• Providing a 1.5% market adjustment and a step for public safety pay plan employees.
• No increase in 2020 health insurance premiums for City of Charlotte employees.
• Addressing police department pay inequities through a 5% pay increase for all sergeants and a 5% pay increase in top pay for police officers through the Senior Police Officer Program.
• Rewarding firefighters through a 2.5% pay increase for all fire captains and topstep engineers, and an increase in the city’s Firefighter 401k contribution by 1% in January.
Investments in Our Neighborhoods
• Promoting the creation and preservation of affordable housing by doubling the 2020 affordable housing bond allocation from $25 million to $50 million.
• Putting $7 million primarily toward Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing.
• Investing $1.8 million in Charlotte’s Eastside and Westside neighborhoods.
• Earmarking $4.2 billion in capital investment over the next five years for aviation, transit, water and stormwater projects.
• Keeping Charlotte clean with a $1 per month increase in the Solid Waste Services fee, which will add two new crews and two new trucks to address demand and prepare the city for the future of waste collection and disposal.
• Accelerating training for police officers, with an additional $2 million to provide multidisciplinary training.
• Preserving the natural environment with the implementation of the Strategic Energy Action Plan.
Enhanced Opportunity for All
• Establishing the Office of Equity, Mobility, and Immigrant Integration, which will leverage existing resources to enhance access to government services and economic opportunity.
• Increasing funding for the microgrant program from $100,000 to $500,000, creating more opportunities for innovative ideas that will transform the community.
• Investing an additional $300,000 in Project PIECE 2.0, a program designed to provide training and job placement which will result in increased upward mobility.
• Providing $1.5 million combined over two years to the Aging in Place Program, which helps seniors stay in their homes.
• Fostering innovation with $2.1 million in economic development initiatives focusing on small and minority-owned businesses, as well as new business creation, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Enhanced Mobility, Accessibility and Connectivity
• Working with residents to create livable, unique spaces for Charlotte’s residents with an additional $250,000 to the Placemaking Program.
• Investing $550,000 for Comprehensive Plan engagement and implementation.
• Fully funding the planned and designed segments of the Cross Charlotte Trail.
On the web: www.charlottenc.gov/budget