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Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

The City of Charlotte adopts its fiscal year 2025 budget

By meerna Jun11,2024

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Charlotte City Council has adopted the fiscal year 2025 budget and capital investment plan for fiscal year 2025-2029. The city’s fiscal year 2025 begins on July 1, 2024.

Highlights of the 2025 budget include:

  • Capital investments to support Charlotte’s growing community:
    • Increases 2024 housing bond funding from $50 million to $100 million that will go toward creating and preserving affordable housing – the largest housing bond investment in the city’s history.
    • A combined $300 million investment in transportation and neighborhood bonds — the largest in the city’s history.
    • It continues to implement Corridors of Opportunity projects with a total investment of $30 million.
    • Allocates $55 million in funding to support the implementation of Strategic Investment Areas, a new, data-driven approach to project identification that tailors mobility and infrastructure financing to the greatest needs.
    • Provides $50 million for sidewalk improvements to make Charlotte a more walkable, safe and equitable city for pedestrians – the largest commitment in the program’s history.
    • Supports economic development partnerships with $36.7 million, including infrastructure reimbursement for the Atrium and Ballantyne Reimagined Innovation Districts.
    • Provides $24.6 million for street resurfacing, which is in addition to $13.7 million in State Powell Bill Distribution funds for street resurfacing.
    • Supports improved transportation safety with a $20 million investment in Vision Zero, the largest investment in the program’s history.
    • Supports expansion of CMPD’s 911 call center and police and fire training academy with $7 million.
    • Provides another $14.5 million to build new fire stations to ensure response timelines are met.
    • Brings future advanced planning capabilities in the Certificate of Participation debt program to Animal Care and Control.
  • Continuous focus on retaining and investing in our people:
    • Provides a 5% pay raise for all hourly wage workers (2.5% raise in July and November) with a minimum raise of $3,280, increasing the raise to 7% for the city’s lowest-paid workers.
    • Provides a 4% merit pool for salaried workers.
    • Provides a 5-7.5% (including grade) pay increase for Police Compensation Plan employees.
      • These actions come on top of a two-year plan that increased the top salary for police officers by 16% to $104,801 (with a four-year degree).
      • Advance payments for salary increases for senior police officers and sergeants from January to November.
    • Supports Fire Pay Plan employees with pay increases of up to 7.5% (including grade).
    • Amends the provisions of the plan to require the city to pay the full health insurance premium for spouses and dependents of city employees who die in the line of duty while still eligible for coverage.
    • Increases the minimum wage for workers working 40 hours per hour to $23 per hour.
    • Provides a pay increase equivalent to the hourly wage of Mayor and City Council employees.
    • Supports the reorganization of resources to create a team dedicated to promoting workforce development opportunities for city and community employees.
  • Structurally balanced budget with a 2-year perspective:
    • A 1.37 cent property tax increase to support capital investment, arts and culture, and city operations (primarily public safety).
      • The first property tax increase in 6 years.
      • It maintains the lowest tax rate of any North Carolina city with a population greater than 75,000.
      • Impact on average household of $4.09 per month ($358,600).
    • Reduces the proposed 1.50-cent property tax increase by 0.13 cents by doing the following:
      • Resulting in a $1,129,964 staff reduction in the General Fund.
      • Adjusts the street resurfacing cash allowance (which is in addition to Powell’s bill and transportation bonds) by $1,747,200.
    • Maintains or improves essential services.
    • Maintains operational reserves.
  • Investing in our residents by providing excellent service and ensuring a safe, clean and equitable future:
    • Supports a sustainable arts ecosystem by investing $11 million in arts and culture.
    • Adds 57 new firefighter positions to meet the public safety needs of our growing population.
    • Provides three new fire ladder companies to improve fire ladder coverage in the city and improve service response times.
    • Launches four new apprenticeship positions in the citywide apprenticeship program.
    • It is partnering with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) to provide spots for 17 CMS high school graduates and offer a starting salary of $47,480.
  • Adding one new energy coordinator to the city’s sustainability team. Allocation of $3.5 million to support expansion of municipal solar capacity, electric charging station infrastructure and other sustainability initiatives.
  • Funding for 70 electric vehicles to accelerate emission reductions in the city’s fleet.
  • Adding one new CARES (Community Assistance: Response, Engagement, Support) team.
  • Continues support for programs such as AMP Up Charlotte and NXTICLT, which aim to support business development and educate minority and women-owned businesses.
  • Provides $1 million in funding to support efforts to address homelessness and housing instability.
  • Supports a 29% increase in the number of positions dedicated to the daily care and adoption of animals at the Animal Care and Control Shelter.

To support the city’s further development and invest in critical infrastructure, the proposed budget includes three increases in service charges:

  • Solid waste ($0.78 increase per month).
  • Rainwater (4.9%, which is a monthly increase of $0.47 for the typical customer).
  • Water (5.75%, which is a monthly increase of $4.37 for the typical customer).

Based on the budget meetings held on May 20 and 30, City Council also approved the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and ARPA interest earnings for the following items:

  • ARPA Funds
    • $1.5 million in unused HOMES funds returned to Mecklenburg County for use under the Fatih in Housing initiative.
    • $427,500 in previously committed HIRE Charlotte ARPA funding will support the following organizations and initiatives in fiscal year 2025:
      • $250,000 in addition to $250,000 in PAGYO funds included in the proposed budget to develop a trash cleanup workforce for formerly incarcerated people.
      • $117,500 for the following nonprofit organizations:
        • Carolina Asian Chamber of Commerce ($100,000).
        • Stiletto Boss University ($77,500).
  • ARPA Interest Earnings
    • $1 million in addition to the $3.5 million in PAGYO funds included in the proposed budget for programs to reduce juvenile delinquency.
    • $1 million in addition to $1.5 million in unused HOMES funds returned from Mecklenburg County to be used for Faith in Housing initiatives, for a total of $2,500,000.
    • $1 million to support Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools staff housing Teachers Village.
    • $287,000 for the Charlotte Black Film Festival.
    • $100,000 for the Boom Charlotte arts festival
    • $143,950 to purchase active shooter kits for police.
    • $97,500 for the purchase of portable ballistic shields for the Police.
    • $534,000 for the following nonprofit organizations:
      • Lock in Love ($100,000).
      • Carolina Youth Coalition ($100,000).
      • Hearts for the Invisible ($100,000).
      • Charlotte History Museum ($100,000).
      • Home Again Foundation ($100,000).
      • Save Our Children Movement ($34,000).

By meerna

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