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Carlee Recommends Tax Hike For More Cops; Budget Also Has Water, Sewer Increases

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Charlotte's city manager is recommending about a 1 percent property tax increase to fund more police and firefighters. Ron Carlee presented his budget to city council Monday night.

Violent crime and murders were up substantially last year. CMPD Chief Kerr Putney says the city needs more cops to keep up with a booming population.

City Manager Ron Carlee doesn't recommend all the funding Putney asked for, but his budget would add 75 police positions and 18 firefighters. He says revenue growth helps with the cost but doesn't go far enough. So in a video breaking down the budget, Carlee recommends a roughly 1 percent increase in the property tax rate.   

“This tax increase would cost 80 percent of homeowners in Charlotte less than $1 per month,” he says. “With this modest tax increase, Charlotte can fulfill the full range of policy priorities that have been identified by the mayor and council.”

It would be the second straight year the property tax goes up, although it's a smaller increase this year. Carlee also recommends increasing the water and sewer rate by about 4 percent, as the city's population grows and infrastructure ages.

Putting all the increases together, the median homeowner would pay an extra $36.55 a year.

The city council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget Monday, May 9. The council is scheduled to adopt a budget in mid June.