As part of the $3.24 billion proposed budget, city leaders said there would be no tax increases, no reduction of core services, and no layoffs or furloughs for any city employees.
Instead, city workers would see increased pay. Hourly city employees would make at least $20 an hour at minimum wage by January 2023. All general hourly employees would also see an eventual 8% salary increase, with 4% in July and 4% in January.
Salaried employees would get a 4% raise. Individuals with a commercial driver's license would get a 2.5% bump. Eligible public safety pay plan employees would also get a 3% market adjustment, meaning 1.5% in July and in January, in addition to a 2.5-5% step increase.
The raises are in an effort to retain employees.
By increasing starting pay and implementing raises, city leaders also hope to help people have funds to live where they work. The city would also set aside $2 million through the House Charlotte homeowner assistance program to help city employees put a down payment on a place in Mecklenburg County.
Similarly, starting pay would increase for both police and fire departments would increase by 9% in July then to 10.5% by January under the proposed budget.
"We are trying to get our officers and first responders to stay," Jones said.
Another big talking point during the meeting: Parking. As part of the proposed budget, the City plans to increase the hourly rate for paid parking. Right now, the cost is $1 an hour. If the budget is passed, the price would increase to $1.50. The budget would also extend what days are payable. Drivers would have to pay to park on Saturday.
The next steps for the budget proposal start next week, with a budget public hearing on May 9. Then on May 11, city leaders will be able to make adjustments to the budget as needed with straw votes on May 25.
The budget will be considered for adoption by City Council on May 31, ahead of the July 1 start of the fiscal year.
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