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Foxx Suggests Getting Rid Of 2018 Projects To Reduce Budget

The Charlotte City Council has about a week to come up with an alternative budget. Last week, council unexpectedly voted down an 8 percent property tax increase in a 6-to-5 vote. Mayor Anthony Foxx Wednesday suggested trimming some projects from the budget that aren't scheduled until 2018. A new police station off Independence, an upgraded intersection in east Charlotte, and improvements along North Tryon to make way for a light rail line are among the projects scheduled for 2018. All together they account for about $124 million. Foxx says it would make sense to start knocking off some of these to reduce the $926 million infrastructure package for roads, sidewalks and bridges council voted down. "Maybe the 2018 sits out there as a decision for a future council to make and we decide to go and do three referenda over the next several years," says Foxx. This is the closest to an alternative budget plan Foxx has offered publicly. Several city council members have suggested cutting $250 million from the infrastructure package. That would make the city tax hike equal to the county tax cut. In effect, they argue taxes would not go up. Foxx worries that proposal would eliminate too many projects, most of which target struggling neighborhoods. The sticking point has been $119 million to help pay for the streetcar project. Councilman Michael Barnes has suggested alternative plans that would either delay or do away with funding for the project all together. But Foxx and a couple other council members have been unwilling to budge on that. The council is scheduled to vote on a budget Monday. Foxx has called a council meeting earlier that day to discuss proposals. He's also called a meeting for Tuesday morning in case, he says, he has to veto the budget.