City Council member Warren Cooksey said the budget committee has a tough task after an 8 percent tax increase was voted down Monday night.
“This is more being asked of the budget committee than we have ever asked before,” he said.
It was a vote that Eyewitness News learned could have been affected by a last-minute development in Raleigh.
Channel 9 obtained a copy of an email that was sent to council members Monday morning before the vote that brings into question whether the state would provide funding for the Blue Line Lynx extension to UNC Charlotte. It could have swayed some council members’ votes.
That's because the tax increase proposed Monday night included $102 million for light rail infrastructure.
Council member Claire Fallon has said publicly the email from the city lobbyist influenced her to vote no.
The email about what was happening in Raleigh read: “I need to give you a heads up” ... Lawmakers ... “will be considering the following budget amendment tomorrow that essentially eliminates dedicated funding for the blue line extension.”
That may have created last-minute doubt about taking $100 million from Charlotte residents in troubled economic times if it isn't needed right now.
Cooksey said other council members could have asked for the Blue Line money to be removed.
“Why not delete (the) Blue Line funding part and go ahead with operating budget?” he said.
Three of the five members on the budget committee voted down the tax increase.