The nearly $1.7 billion operating budget increases the County’s property tax rate by 2.35 cents next fiscal year to sustain current services, while addressing the growth in CMS student population, opening of new parks, annualized cost for library operating hours and merit increases for County employees.
The FY2014 budget includes $1,085,193,379 in County funding, a reduction of $978,971 from the interim County manager's recommended budget. Mecklenburg County's tax rate will increase 2.35 percent to 81.57 cents per $100 of valuation, resulting in an additional $47 in property taxes per year for a home with an assessed valuation of $200,000.
The recommended budget for FY2014 is $255.3 million more than the current year’s adopted budget. This 17.8 percent increase is primarily the result of increases in Medicaid funds associated with MeckLINK. The total increase in County funding is $20.9 million, or 2.0 percent.
The total dollar amount of the FY2014 Budget is $1,085,193,379 and includes:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS)
The budget includes CMS operating funding of $354.2 million, an increase of $19.1 million (or5.7 percent). This does not include debt service costs associated with CMS. This increase funds items requested by CMS that are defined as sustaining operations and student growth.
Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC)
The budget includes CPCC funding of $30.7 million, which is an increase of $3.8 million (or 14.1 percent).This increase funds items requested by CPCC that are consistent with what the County defines as sustaining operations, primarily facility maintenance, utility, and security costs.
The budget includes County services funding of $429.7 million, which is an increase of $8.9 million (or 2.1 percent)after County staff identified $21.7 million in efficiencies and redirections of current year funds. This increase pays for several planned investments including in the County Assessor’s Office, homelessness services, school health nurses, opening and operating new parks, technology licenses and additional elections.
Investing in Employees
The FY2014 Budget includes a 2 percent increase in the current payroll ($4.8 million) to pay for employee raises based on performance, $2.3 million for health and dental insurance cost increases, $1.5 million for adjustments in pay for positions falling below the market rate for these jobs, and $1.0 million to pay the annualized cost of salaries for new hires and those that received a pay raise during the current fiscal year.
Law Enforcement Service District
Mecklenburg County uses a Law Enforcement Service District (LESD) to fund law enforcement services in the unincorporated areas of the County. An inter local agreement between the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County determines the County responsibility toward the total Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) budget, based on the percentage of population in unincorporated areas relative to the total population of CMPD’s service area.
For FY2014, the tax rate will be 19.37cents, which is the same tax rate as in FY2013. In addition, $1 million from the LESD fund balance will be applied to FY14 costs and $680,000 in lake patrol expenses will be paid for from the general fund.
Fire Protection Service Districts
Consistent with FY13, the tax rates for the Fire Protection Service Districts will stay at five cents for the extra-territorial jurisdictions of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville. Mint Hill will have a 7-cent tax levy as in FY13. Charlotte will have a one-cent increase to its rate, raising it to 6 cents.