Charlotte City Council approves $3.2 billion budget

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte City Council approved its 2023 budget on Tuesday evening.

The $3.2 billion budget for the Charlotte Fiscal Year 2023 unanimously passed and begins on July 1.

Notable additions include an end to free parking on Saturdays in South End and uptown Charlotte, pay raises and retention bonuses for city workers and funding to assist first-time homebuyers with their down payment.

There is no property tax increase in the budget. Charlotte residents will see slight increases in Charlotte Water, stormwater services and solid waste fees, which would total an average of $3 a month per household.

The budget does not reduce core services, tap into reserves or result in any furloughs or layoffs.

City workers raises and incentives

Hourly workers are poised to see a significant pay bump.

The budget calls for 8% raises for hourly city workers. Using American Rescue Plan Act funds, Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones proposed a retention bonus equivalent to 2% of pay.

“We have put our dollars where our mouth is especially on our employees, especially taking care of our employees,” said Councilwoman Dimple Ajmera. “We care about our employees and we want them to work with our city and to recruit and retain the best talent so if you want to work with the city, come on over.”

The minimum pay for full-time hourly workers would be $20 an hour. Workers with commercial driver’s licenses will see a 2.5% bump.

Another 2.5% increase is slated for city workers on the second and third shifts. Salaried employees have been slated for a 4% raise and public safety workers will continue with their step plan, a 3% raise.

“I think (Jones) did a good job of incorporating increases for the staff for the city employees reflecting our inflationary environment to protect them,” Councilman Ed Driggs said.

Parking in South End, uptown

For the first time since 1997, the City of Charlotte accepted a parking fee increase. The price of street parking in South End and uptown will increase from $1 an hour to $1.50 an hour.

Parking would also no longer be free on Saturdays. The move is expected to generate $700,000. Jones said he believes the move will result in more turnover of spaces.

“Right now you can park on Friday afternoon and stay until Monday morning,” Mayor Vi Lyles said. “That’s not what our parking system is designed to do.”

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