RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - Mecklenburg County commissioners have approved a $1.6 billion budget for the new fiscal year. The property tax rate remains at 81.57 cents per $100 of valuation.
The full budget can be found at http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/CountyManagersOffice/OMB/Pages/FY16-Budget.aspx.
Highlights, according to the county's website are:
Stable Property Tax Rate, LESD Tax Rises
The FY16 Budget keeps the property tax rate at its current level of 81.57 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. This will be the third consecutive year of no property tax increase. However, in the Law Enforcement Service District (LESD), a 1.77-cent tax rate increase in the LESD was approved. This is the first tax rate increase for the LESD since FY2012.
Literacy and Education
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) will receive a $13.9 million increase to support student enrollment growth, sustaining operations, additional psychologists and social workers, and an increase in pass-through funds for charter schools. Also part of the FY16 Budget is a $4 million one-time funding to be used for deferred maintenance or technology. The total appropriation for CMS is $17.9 million, bringing its proposed operational budget for FY16 to $408,862,352.
Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) will receive a funding increase of $2.3 million, including one-time funding to replace CPCC’s obsolete telephone system and address maintenance concerns and contractual increases.
CPCC’s total recommended budget for FY16 is $35,429,083, bringing the overall education budget for FY16 to $567 million.
Health and Human Services
The Fiscal Year 2016 Budget includes investments to improve service levels to help prevent chronic disease, protect adults and children from trauma and violence, fulfill basic needs like food and shelter, support recovery from substance abuse, and create homes for children who need them.
Included in the funding for Health and Human Services:
$596,000 for foster care contracts and placements to address the increasing number of children in the custody of the County;
Expanded intervention services for children exposed to violence and trauma as part of the nationally recognized Child Development Community Policing Program;
Funding for eight new senior social workers;
Investments in services to combat homelessness, and support the growing needs of veterans in the community, including three additional Veteran’s Services officers; enhancement of legal services for VA disability appeals, discharge upgrades and public benefits.
Park and Recreation
The FY16 Budget includes investments for Park and Recreation facilities, including the opening of new or renovated facilities at Ramsey Creek Beach, First Ward Park, Double Oaks Pool, Berewick and Reid parks, and the Aquatic Center, as well as deferred maintenance at parks throughout the County. The budget also includes funding for two new park rangers.
The budget also includes increased funding to maintain new facilities for the Land Use and Environmental Services Agency (LUESA) and Mecklenburg County MEDIC, and to improve maintenance at other facilities.
High Performing Organization
Exemplary customer service comes from high-performing employees. To recruit and retain high performing employees, the FY16 budget includes pay-for-performance merit increases equivalent of 2 percent of payroll, or an average of 3 percent.