Charlotte’s budget vote at stake: arts money, police funding, city council increase | WFAE 90.7

Charlotte's budget vote at stake: arts money, police funding, city council increase |  WFAE 90.7

The budget does not include any property tax hikes but would raise fees for water, stormwater services and solid waste. For comparison, Mecklenburg County pays its board chair $56,431 in combined salary and expenses. Other commissioners get $48,563. The meeting starts at 5 p.m.

Much of that increase will go toward salary increases and benefits for officers. The police department would also spend $775,000 to double the number of crisis response teams, or CRTs, from six to 12. CRTs are trained clinicians who can accompany officers on calls where someone is believed to have mental health issues. The budget also calls for increasing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s annual budget by $10 million. That’s a 3.7% increase from the year before and brings the department’s total annual budget to $301 million.

Also included in the budget are big raises for City Council members. Including expense allowances, the proposed raises would bring total compensation to $59,868 for the mayor and $52,444 for the other council members. That’s a 41.5% salary boost for the mayor and a 51% bump for council members. The measure has stirred up concern among some local artists and creatives, who’ve said they were not consulted as the plan was made. The president of the Arts & Science Council, Krista Terrell, has also criticized the plan, saying she’s worried about equitable distribution.

Source www.wfae.org Do you want to stay up to date on politics? Our weekly Inside Politics newsletter takes you on a deep dive of North Carolina politics with reporter Steve Harrison. Sign up here to have politics news delivered straight to your inbox.

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