Charlotte council rejects property tax increase, billion dollar spending plan

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte City Council members voted 6 to 5 Monday against a proposal to raise property taxes for Charlotte residents. It would have been the first property tax hike since 2006.

Mayor Anthony Foxx called the vote "irresponsible" in front of a crowd of hundreds.

The property tax increase would have raised the city's property tax rate from 43.7 to 47.3 percent per $100 of assessed value. An owner of a $200,000 home would have paid about $72 more a year.

Foxx and several council supporters argued the tax increase, and the entire $1.97 billion budget would have created jobs, and put hundreds of millions into the city. Those against it, including Councilman Andy Dulin argued that now is not the time for a tax hike.

"We did talk amongst each other and six of us decided to vote no," Dulin said to Foxx.

Foxx said he was "very surprised" by the actions of the council Monday night. He pushed to have another vote on the budget June 25.

"I will not hesitate to veto a budget that falls short of the goals that this city needs to tackle," Foxx said.

The proposed budget included a $926 million capital plan that would have paid for infrastructure upgrades such as street and sidewalk improvements in older neighborhoods as well six new police stations.

The plan also included $119 million for the city's planned streetcar line through uptown as well as money for the Lynx Blue Line extension to UNC Charlotte.

The council will discuss the budget again June 25. By law, the council must approve a budget by June 30. The fiscal year begins July 1.

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