The Charlotte City Council reached a tentative agreement Wednesday on a budget that doesn’t have a property tax increase.
However, owners of single-family homes would pay $8 more a year in garbage fees. Apartment owners would also pay $8 more a year for each unit they have.
For both apartments and homes, the garbage fee would increase from $25 to $33 a year.
The city had considered eliminating garbage service on all apartments or increasing garbage fees on apartments to pay for the full cost of the service, which is about $56 per unit. Apartment owners pushed back against both proposals, saying it would hurt low-income people who tend to rent.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
If the budget is approved next month, the impact to renters will be small.
“If your landlord says they are raising your rent because the city changed the solid waste fee, and they raise your rent by more than 67 cents a month, it’s not because of the solid waste fee,” City Manager Ron Carlee said at a budget meeting Wednesday.
The monthly water and sewer “availability fee” will increase from $8.14 to $9.84 a month. The water and sewer “billing fee” will increase from $6.30 to $7.14 a month.
The budget allows for Charlotte Mecklenburg Police to hire 63 new officers and 25 support personnel. The Charlotte Fire Department will also get a new ladder company for the Northlake Mall area.
“This is a good budget,” said council member Ed Driggs. “We are not raising taxes. We have fully funded police.”
The city was able to avoid a property tax increase this year in part by financing some capital costs over a five-year period. That could leave a $2.8 million budget gap next year. The city could close that gap by increasing the garbage fee by $9 in 2017.
Mayor Jennifer Roberts said during the meeting that the budget moves the city closer to a goal of having all full-time city employees being paid at least $15 an hour. The city should reach that goal in two years.