City council approves budget, officer pay increases along with property taxes

- Property taxes will be on the rise for those living in the City of Charlotte after city council approved a new budget Monday night.

The budget focuses heavily on improving public safety. CMPD officers will be getting a pay increase, 6 new police stations and a new fire station will be built.

Despite the improvements not all council members agree a one cent property tax increase was needed to fund those projects.

 “I can’t accept the fact that a tax increase is necessary in order for us to continue to provide these city services at a time when the economy is booming,” said Council Member Ed Driggs.

“I cannot support a one cent tax increase. I think we could have done all those things, it was within out power to prioritize and make some tough cuts and some tough decisions,” said Council Member Tariq Bokhari.

Among the tough decisions this year was the increase in pay for CMPD officers. Officers jammed council chambers on several occasions asking for a 15% raise.

City council went back and amended the original budget presentation offering a 6.5% raise. They added an additional $4.2 million for officer pay.

“We have done a lot of great work for a huge chunk, but there is still a little ways to go,” said Bokhari.

Bokarhi rode along with CMPD to see first hand what officers experience. He feels city council is still missing the bar slightly, especially for pay among senior CMPD officers.

“I think what is left, if we do not solve it within the next 3 quarters after the budget we will likely see police officers and other coming back to us the same way we saw this year,” said Bokhari.

The approved one cent property tax increase means a home valued at $200,000 will see about a $20 dollar per year increase in their taxes.

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