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Charlotte, North Carolina

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Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina. It is the county seat of Mecklenburg County. The U.S. Census reported the population at 731,424, making it the 17th largest city in the United States.

The city is a major U.S. financial center, and is now the second largest banking center in the United States after New York City. The nation's second largest financial institution by assets, Bank of America, calls the city home. The city was also the former corporate home of Wachovia until its purchase by Wells Fargo in 2008; Charlotte became the headquarters for East Coast Operations of Wells Fargo. Charlotte is also home of the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League, the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association, the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

Nicknamed the Queen City, Charlotte and its resident county are named in honor of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had become queen consort of British King George III the year before the city's founding. A second nickname derives from the American Revolutionary War, when British commander General Cornwallis occupied the city but was driven out by hostile residents, prompting him to write that Charlotte was "a hornet's nest of rebellion," leading to the nickname The Hornet's Nest.[1]

Budget

The operating budget represented the second year of the city's biennial budget. For the second straight year, only a few base operating budget changes were recommended in the General Fund. The General Fund budget totaled $552.2 million, a 3.77% increase over the FY2012 revised budget.

As part of the FY2013 budget development process, the City Manager proposed a new CIP to City Council that would invest in corridors, increase connections, and improve communities. The proposed investment plan funded $926.4 million in infrastructure improvements from 2012 through 2020, included four bond referenda, and was funded by a 3.6-cent property tax rate increase – increasing the then-current rate from 43.7 cents per $100 valuation to 47.3 cents.

The recommended budget included a 3.6¢ property tax increase to fund these community investments. The recommended property tax rate was 47.3¢ per $100 valuation (for example, $946 annually on a $200,000 home). This increase funded the proposed $926.4 million General CIP over four bond referenda cycles (2012, 2014, 2016, 2018).

Stimulus

The city of Charlotte received $71,267,499 in federal stimulus money in three contracts and fifty grants.[2]

Local taxes

As of 2013, property taxes accounted for 64.8% of revenue, followed by sales tax (14.4%), licenses and fees (8.1%), utilities franchise taxes (8.1%) police services (3.3%), and other taxes (1.2%).[3]

Salaries

See also: North Carolina state government salary

Pensions

See also: North Carolina public pensions

Lobbying

See also: North Carolina government sector lobbying

Website evaluation

The information was last reviewed on June 12, 2012.

Grade2.pngB
Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials P
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Contracts Y
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Lobbying N
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Public Records Y
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Local Taxes Y
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Transparency grading process

The good

  • The current budget is published and previous budgets are available for the last three years[4]
  • The calendar of meetings is available.[5]
  • Meeting agendas are available, and thoroughly archived.[6]
  • Meeting minutes are available, and thoroughly archived.[7]
  • Names of elected officials, individual email address, individual phone numbers, and a physical address is available[8]
  • Names of administrative officials is available, including an organizational chart, but specific contact information including email, phone numbers, and addresses is incomplete.[9]
  • Permit and license applications are available for download[10] and zoning ordinances are available[11]
  • The current audit is published and previous audits are available for the last three years[12]
  • Bids are posted[13] , including approved contracts over $10,000[14]
  • A public records contact is available and public records policies are available in a central location, including a fill in request form[15]
  • Tax revenues are available in the budget and tax rates are published[16]
  • A “How Are We Doing?” survey option is an excellent feature.

The bad

  • Administrative officials’ contact information is incomplete.
  • A search of lobbying information did not generate relevant results regarding employed lobbyists, memberships in lobbying organizations, and associated fees.

External links

References