CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - CMPD officers could see a proposed salary increase if Charlotte City Council approves a budget that includes a property tax increase.
Many council members told FOX 46 Charlotte Monday night the budget presentation was the first time they heard about a proposed property tax increase.
"Property construction is booming, the economy is booming. I don't see how we can't pay our police properly without raising taxes," said Council Member Ed Driggs, who disagrees who a proposed property tax increase.
The proposed one cent property tax increase breaks down to about $10 per year for an average household.
The additional tax dollars are helping raise CMPD officer pay by 6.5%. New recruits would be paid between $46,000 and $51,000 thousand dollars. That places CMPD as the highest starting salary for a large police department in North Carolina.
"I think the community has shown in the past that if a tax increase is necessary that our law enforcement officers and our first responders would be what they would rather spend it on," said Council Member Greg Phipps.
The 6.5 percent increase is much lower than the 15 percent the Fraternal Order of Police requested in February. Just two weeks ago, CMPD officers packed council chambers demanding better pay.
"If you fail to support your officers and your city then you are going to see a lot of badges turned in at property control as we leave for better options," said one officer at a council meeting on April 23.
"We kinda knew going in that we wouldn't be able to do everything they asked, but we wanted to make a good faith effort and show that we do value them, we do want to keep the best people and I think this goes a long way towards that," said Council Member Larken Egleston, following the budget presentation Monday night.
Chief Kerr Putney wasn't available for comment following monday's budget presentation, but he told FOX 46 Charlotte earlier in the day that any pay raise is a step in the right direction.
The proposed budget also sets aside more money to build 6 new police stations. Nearly $50 million will also be available to help with affordable housing. There is a public comment period about the proposed budget on May 14.