MECKLENBURG COUNTY -- During budget straw votes Tuesday, Mecklenburg County Commissioners endorsed a three quarters of penny tax increase.
- The tax increase will cover universal Pre-K, creating dozens of new classrooms to help 600 children.
- A majority of commissioners support the tax hike but Republican Bill James voted against it
- Commissioners will take a final vote on the budget next Tuesday, June 19
People who own a home valued at $250,000 would pay $18.75 a year in county taxes. The tax increase will cover universal Pre-K, creating dozens of new classrooms to help 600 children.
“When you bring them into school earlier the research shows those kids are more likely to make it to the third grade reading level and graduate,” said Erlene Lyde, President of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators.
A majority of commissioners support the tax hike but Republican Bill James voted against it because he believes increasing taxes before the upcoming property revaluation is a bad idea.
“It sends a bad message in general for you to raise taxes and then you do revaluation and you hit them again, it’s a double whammy,” said James.
Commissioners also agreed to move nearly seven million dollars of lapse salary to fund the local teacher supplement
“This means that some teachers that won’t get a raise from the state and never get the raise from the state in this budget cycle will get a little something in their paychecks,” said Lyde.
But this is a one time transfer. County Manager Dena Diori said commissioners will start the next budget cycle with a deficit.
“We're going to have to figure out how we make up that 6.8 million in fiscal year 20,” she said.
Commissioners will take a final vote on the budget next Tuesday, June 19.