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County Manager Proposes Tax Cut

Mecklenburg County's manager wants to use millions of unexpected tax revenues to lower the property tax rate by a few pennies, open libraries on Sundays again and give county employees a pay raise. The budget unveiled Tuesday night does not, however, restore all of the steep cuts made to programs as a result of the recession, says county budget director Hyong Yi. "The changes that were made were made with the intent of making the government better - more efficient, more effective to the extent that we can," said Yi Wednesday on WFAE's Charlotte Talks. "The monies that are being added now are being added with the same idea. We're not just gonna restore the things you lost. We're going to fund the things that make the county work better or meet the needs of the community." The county manager's proposed budget includes a $9 million increase for CMS to pay for growth in the student population, but would not cover pay raises interim superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh is requesting. If County Commissioners approve the proposed tax rate decrease, the annual tax bill for a $200,000 home would drop by $49. However, that could be offset by a property tax increase the City Council is considering. People who live in unincorporated Mecklenburg County would likely see their taxes go up slightly because they'll pay more for police and fire service next year. A public hearing on the county budget is set for May 24. A hearing on the city budget will happen four days later (May 29).