Council members pitch alternative budgets, split 6-5 - | WBTV Charlotte

Council members pitch alternative budgets, split 6-5

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte City Council members John Autry, David Howard, Patsy Kinsey, LaWana Mayfield and James Mitchell announced a budget they have all agreed on Friday afternoon.  It is the most support one revision has gained. 

Budget Committee Chair Michael Barnes, who has come up with his own proposal, expressed gratitude for their teamwork.

"There is some pain in the cuts that we proposed. There are things that I have taken out of my own district. But the point is I'm trying to figure out, and we're all trying to figure out how you can provide the most benefit to the city and minimize the overall tax impact," he says.

This new suggestion reduces and deletes a list of capital improvement projects, but it leaves in the controversial streetcar plan, it extends the Blue Line, and it still manages to lower the property tax increase from 3.6 cents to 3.16 cents. 

The plan achieves that by covering three bond cycles instead of four - in other words, leaving the financing for some projects that would be started years from now up to future leaders.

But council members Warren Cooksey, Andy Dulin and Claire Fallon still say they won't vote for any plan that raises your tax bill at all. 

Sunday Claire Fallon told WBTV, "At this point because of the monetary situation, the financial situation people are in..we have to do what's best for all of Charlotte right this moment."

Fallon says she supports a plan that would do away with the streetcar extension, a police station in south Charlotte and a project planned for Park Road and one in Berryhill.

Cooksey said he's glad the focus has shifted from what the city wants to what the city can afford…though he says he hasn't seen a good depiction yet of the latter.

"I appreciate that more and more are talking about that. This proposal that you've shown me today doesn't get there," he said.

The budget has to be approved by June 30th in time for the fiscal year, which begins July 1.

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