City Manager’s Budget Proposal Invests in Housing, Development Plan Review Enhancements

City Manager Marcus Jones unveiled his proposed $2.6 billion FY 2019 Budget to Mayor Lyles and Council last night, which includes initiatives to expand Charlotte’s investment in affordable housing and improve the development review process. Some highlights are below, from our initial review of the budget:
    The General Fund Budget is $693.8 million. This reflects an increase of $25.0 million or (3.7 percent) over last year’s adopted budget.Includes a one-cent tax increase, which adds $9.8 million in additional revenue to and costs 83 cents monthly for every $100,000 in home value. Three fourths of a penny will help support enhancements in public safety and one fourth will help support the ongoing debt service needed for a $50.0 million affordable housing strategy.Provides $70.3 million for housing programs, including an increase in the Housing Trust Fund bonds to $50.0 million in FY 2019. Charlotte voters will have to approve this investment when they go the polls in November.Implements sweeping changes in the development plan review process, to address issues raised by REBIC and other industry groups over the past year.Creates a ‘One Stop Shop’ in the lobby of the Government Center, where developers can access and meet with all relevant staff in a single location.Transfers 22 staff positions from the Department of Engineering and Property Management to the Department of Planning, which will be re-branded the Department of Planning, Design, and Development.Creates a new Enhanced Review pilot program for nearly all development review types, with reviews ranging from $1,000 for  plat revisions to $30,000 for expedited plan review on major development projects.Adds 12 new positions in Planning to support the enhancements in planning and land development permittingAside from a 5 – 15% increase in rezoning fees (due to a planned step-down in cost-allocation subsidy), no new user fees for planning or land development.Includes $500,000 for an Aging in Place pilot program. This program helps support low-income, senior homeowners who want to continue to live in their home and mitigate potential impacts of the new 2019 property valuation.An additional $2.7 million for the ‘A Way Home’ rental assistance program.Includes a significant increase in the starting pay for CMPD officers, raising the minimum salary for a recruit to $46,352.Additional funding of $22.5 million is proposed for five existing General CIP projects in FY 2019, including the North I-85 Bridge and McKee/Providence Road Intersection. In FY 2021, an additional $2.5 million is proposed for the Idlewild and Monroe Road Intersection project.Funding for the Sidewalk and Pedestrian Safety program is doubled from the originally planned $15.0 million in FY 2019 to $30.0 millionAccelerates funding of $46.1 million to complete all six planned police stations.An increase in water and sewer fees averaging $1.89 per month for a typical residential customer.

You can review the Manager’s Budget Summary document here, and download the full budget proposal here. 

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