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Posted: 5:50 p.m. Friday, June 22, 2012
By Mark Becker
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Both sides talked compromise Friday, but Charlotte's City Council appears to be headed for a Monday showdown over the budget.
"We come prepared and have been prepared to compromise with our colleagues for the last two weeks," budget committee chairman Michael Barnes said Friday.
Barnes announced the latest proposal from a group of six council members who call themselves Bipartisan Officials for an Affordable Charlotte.
The group’s proposal would cap the tax increase at 2.44 cents while cutting $269 million from the proposed capital budget -- including the $119 million for that street car extension.
Some of those council members said the real issue is the tax increase, which is something they had hoped to avoid.
"For me, the starting point is zero, and I have moved to 2.44. And that's as far as I can move," said Councilman Warren Cooksey.
However, the proposal from the other five council members calls for a tax increase of 3.16 cents, cutting $129 million but still keeping the streetcar project.
Patsy Kinsey, who heads up the other side, said they are still committed to projects like new police stations and the streetcar extension, even if it means a bigger tax increase.
"If there's some compromise to keep the streetcar or at least fund the initial construction, then maybe we can. But right now, we do have it in our plan," Kinsey said.
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