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Council OKs $2.4B City Budget That Adds Police, Holds Taxes Steady

City of Charlotte
Charlotte City Council members discussed the budget before passing it Monday night.

The Charlotte City Council voted unanimously Monday night to adopt the city's $2.4 billion budget for 2017-18. The plan increases some fees, but not property taxes; adds police officers and firefighters; and includes raises for city employees. 

Although property taxes are unchanged, other fees for city residents will go up $26.76 per year, or $2.23 a month. That includes a $1.73 monthly increase for Charlotte Water customers and 50 cents a month in trash pickup fees, which the city blames on rising landfill tipping fees and higher costs from its contractors.

There's money to hire 62 new Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers, as well as to add 20 firefighters for the Eastland area.

The budget includes a 3 percent pool for merit pay raises for salaried city employees. And it has money to raise the minimum starting pay for city employees to $15 an hour in the new fiscal year. Officials said that hits the city's goal two years ahead of schedule.  All employees will be eligible for six weeks' paid parental leave starting in January.

Council members also adopted a $4.1 billion capital budget for 2018 through 2022 - called the  Community Investment Plan. It calls for borrowing or spending money from the city's general fund on neighborhood improvements; housing; water, sewer and stormwater projects; roads, transit, sidewalks, bikeways, and Charlotte Douglas Airport; and public safety.


See more about the 2017-18 city budget, which was adopted Monday.

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.