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Mayor Foxx Abandons Effort To Shrink Proposed City Tax Hike

http://66.225.205.104/JR20120606a.mp3

The Charlotte City Council is poised to approve a 3.6 cent property tax increase on Monday night. The money would go toward a large infrastructure improvement program. In response to criticism, Mayor Anthony Foxx had been pushing for a smaller increase, but WFAE's Julie Rose has learned the mayor has abandoned that effort. The mayor's plan was a pretty tall order to begin with. He wanted to shave 10 percent off the $926 million capital package without cutting any of the proposed projects it would fund. "Good luck with that" was the sentiment from Councilman Andy Dulin at a budget meeting last week. "Maybe we just build the bridges with one-third of the uprights or something," quipped Dulin to a chorus of laughs from the council. Kidding aside, Mayor Foxx promised to have a specific plan ready this week. A 10 percent cut would only shrink the tax hike by about a third of a penny, but the mayor's response was "Hey, every bit counts." "To the extent that we can find a way to reduce and still have the impact, that's helpful to taxpayers," said Foxx, after the meeting. "It's also helpful to the goal of this - which is to create catalytic projects that make a great return on investment for taxpayers." But when he got down to nipping and tucking the $926 million capital plan, Mayor Foxx realized some projects would suffer significantly for what his spokeswoman calls a "marginal impact on the proposed property tax increase." Taxes would go up 3.25 cents instead of 3.6 cents . . . hardly enough to thrill taxpayers. Monday night at 7 p.m., the city council will take a final vote on the plan.