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Charlotte City Council members to weigh budget at retreat

Charlotte city council members will be taking a closer look today at how to balance the city's budget in an especially tight year. Unlike Mecklenburg County, the City of Charlotte is not predicting a budget deficit next year, but city council members will consider delaying some construction projects to set aside money for a rainy day. City Budget Director Ruffin Hall says the city relies on sales tax revenue and that has significantly dropped over the past months. "If that trend continues to go down at a rate faster than we estimate then the council may wish to slow some capital projects and use some of that savings to help cover that loss in the operating budget," says Hall. While saving money may sound appealing, Hall notes going ahead with the construction projects could create jobs and benefit the local economy. The City Council will weigh those options and see a list of possible city requests for federal stimulus money during its annual retreat.