Genna Contino, Monday, June 12, 2023, 9:04 pm EDT

Charlotte City Workers Union members marched from Marshall Park to the government center to demand 12% raises last month.

It may have worked: The city agreed to a compromise this month to an initially proposed 6% raise and gave its final OK Monday.

As part of Monday’s $3.3 billion Charlotte city budget adoption, minimum salaries for city employees jump from about $40,000 to $46,200. The city’s lowest-paid employees will see fruits of the agreement beginning in January. People higher on the pay scale, though, will see shallower increases.

Mayor Pro Tem Braxton Winston, who’s running for NC labor commissioner, was the sole opposing vote for the budget beginning July 1 and covering the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

“This is going to be the last budget I vote on, but it’s going to be the first budget I vote against,” Winston said. “There’s more that we could’ve done this year, more that we should’ve done this year.”

The budget drops property taxes to a revenue-neutral rate, 26.04 cents per $100 in valuation, which means the city won’t bring in more money from property taxes than economic growth provides. Last week, Mecklenburg commissioners voted to hike the county’s tax rate 1.6 cents above revenue neutral for the upcoming fiscal year.

Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield supported the budget, but said she explored options with the city manager for a one-cent increase.

“What is that going to do for services when we still have almost 100 people a day moving to the city?” Mayfield said. “We worked hard on (the budget) and yes we can do better.”

City Manager Marcus Jones warned the council in May that future tax increases will come if the city wants to keep up its level of services and initiatives.

Each employee will receive at least a $3,600 per year pay increase in fiscal year 2024 under the new city budget, which includes adjustments for all full-time hourly employees.

The budget also includes pay for on-call Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officers and maintains historical pay parity between police and firefighters — something fire employees requested during a public hearing.

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