Charlotte approved budget investing in housing, first responders; fee and tax hike included

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The Charlotte City Council adopted the budget for the 2025 fiscal year Monday night, with major investments in housing, transportation and employees.

The FY25 budget brings a 1.37-cent property tax increase to support capital investments, arts and culture, and city operations.

Highlights include: 

  • Increasing the 2024 Housing Bond funding from $50 million to $100 million to be dedicated to creating and preserving affordable housing. City leaders say this is the largest housing bond investment in the Charlotte history.

  • A $300 million total investment in transportation and neighborhood bonds. The city’s Corridors of Opportunity program also landed a $30 million investment.

  • Providing $50 million for improving sidewalks and $24.6 million to resurface streets.

  • $14.5 million for the construction of new firehouses to ensure response times are met.

  • $1 million to address homelessness and housing instability.

More raises for city employees

Leading an arms race of local municipalities, the council approved a 5 percent salary increase for all of the city’s hourly employees. This will be broken up into two 2.5 percent increases in July and November. The lowest-earning employees will see a 7 percent bump with a minimum increase of $3,280.

The minimum pay for 40-hour hourly employees will be $23 per hour.

Charlotte leaders allocate $1M to go toward proposed CMS teacher housing

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers on the Police Pay Plan will get an increase of 5-7 percent. This completes a two-year plan that has raised the top pay of officers by 16 percent to $104,801 (with a four-year degree).

Mayor Vi Lyles and members of City Council also will get raises.

Along with new fire houses, the Charlotte Fire Department lands 57 new firefighter positions to support the city’s growing population.

There is funding for 70 electric vehicles added to the city’s fleet.

There have been pushes recently to keep the Animal Care and Control shelter below capacity amid renovations and to separate from CMPD. The budget supports a 29 percent increase in the number of positions dedicated to the daily care and adoption of animals at the shelter.

In addition to the tax hike, there are other increases for Charlotte residents. Fees are going up for solid waste (+78 cents), storm water (+4.9 percent) and water (+5.75 percent).

The budget takes into account allocating remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds. Those include investments in housing and police gear:

  • $143,950 for active shooter kits.

  • $97,500 for portable ballistic shields.

The outer vests proposed by Councilman Tariq Bokhari were not included.

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