County manager recommends no property tax increase in budget req - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

County manager recommends no property tax increase in budget request

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Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio left the property tax rate unchanged in her annual budget request presentation before the County Commission on Thursday.

The current property tax rate is $81.57 per $100 of assessed value. This year the county is experiencing a $50 million dollar increase in revenue.

With the amout some county commissioenrs wanted to Dirorio to propose a property tax decrease.

"I think for the last few years," Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour said. "We've been paying higher taxes than necessary. I do think this is an opportunity to lower taxes for folks, so I am going to look at doing that."

Diorio didn't propose a decrease because that's not what the people wanted.

"I did not hear from people that they wanted me to lower their taxes," Diorio said. "In fact I heard lot of people say don't lower my taxes, so I was really responding to what I heard in the community when I talked to people."

She did ask for more money for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the Department of Social Services.

Diorio wants to give DSS more money to handle foster care, adoption, domestic violence and homelessness.

She also wants money for CMS to add 33 nurses to the payroll. That would put a licensed nurse in every school as well as three supervisors. Parents pushing for the nurses made the difference.

"It wasn't that they kept writing to me," Diorio said. "The stories they told about their children and grandchildren. About the risks these children have while at school with no nurse around. That was compelling to me."

Diorio recommended $26.8 million as well as a one time payment of $5 million for technology.

CMS had requested $46 million but Diorio says the county could just not afford a three percent pay raise for teachers. CMS leaders believe the county should step up since there is uncertainty in Raleigh concerning a raise.

"I feel like if Mecklenburg is going to become that great place," CMS School Board Chairperson Mary McCray said. "For people to want to live, work and play - Mecklenburg county is going to have to be part of it."

Commissioners are scheduled to vote on their budget in June. In the meantime CMS leaders say they will continue to lobby the politicians for more money so raises can happen for all CMS workers.

All totaled the the county manager's budget proposal adds up to $1.53 billion.

Mecklenburg County is now home to around one million people and that number continues to rise.

In the last 10 years around 200,000 people have moved into the county. That growth means an increasing demand for services from the county.

The CMS School Board approved a $1.3 billion budget several weeks ago.

It includes a more than $400 million request to pay for a 3 percent raise for all CMS workers.

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