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Mecklenburg County approves budget with property tax increase

Row of houses
Homeowners in Mecklenburg County will pay more for property taxes starting this coming year.

Mecklenburg County commissioners unanimously approved a $2.5 billion budget Tuesday night for the fiscal year that starts in July. The budget includes an additional $56 million for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, about a 9% increase in local funding, as well as money to cover higher wages for county employees and other rising costs.

The budget also includes a one-cent property tax increase, which comes out to about $38 for the median home in Mecklenburg County.

Commissioners had been considering a larger, 1.5-cent property tax increase, but decided to pull more money from the county’s reserve funds in order to lower the size of the hike. Commissioner Susan Rodriguez-McDowell said while the reduction might seemsmall, it’s meaningful.

"We have people who have the highest of high incomes. And then we also have people who are on the other end of the spectrum where, you know, they're paycheck to paycheck, they're doing their kitchen table budgeting and every little bit of added stress to that budget is a burden," she said.

Charlotte City Council is finalizing its budget, which also includes a property tax increase, this month.

County Manager Dena Diorio had recommended against pulling more from the reserves to lower the tax increase, saying it was irresponsible to use non-recurring revenue to fund recurring needs.

The county's budget also includes:

  • $2.8 million for new ambulances and technology.
  • $14.7 million in affordable housing funds for A Home for All.
  • $2.6 million for critical home repairs for low-income residents.
  • $8.9 million in additional funds for Central Piedmont Community College operations and maintenance.
  • $38.6 million for land acquisition and tree preservation.
  • $3 million of additional maintenance for parks.

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Ely Portillo has worked as a journalist in Charlotte for over a decade. Before joining WFAE, he worked at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the Charlotte Observer.