Message from the Manager
On behalf of Mayor Patrick McCrory and the members of the Charlotte City Council, I am pleased to present the Fiscal Year (FY2003) Performance Report. It is an account of the key challenges faced, successes achieved and the state of the City today.
The lingering economic downturn continued to negatively impact revenues. In particular, sales tax revenues declined for the third year.City Manager Pam Syfert
While property tax revenues grew, the growth rate was slower than in previous years. Other critical revenue streams remained flat or declined; yet growth in an around the City remained strong, increasing demand for City services.
What began as a fifth year of drought ended with spring rainfall levels so extreme they not only pulled Charlotte out of the drought, but also caused flash flooding. Two major winter storms caused substantial property damage and challenged home and business owners, public safety and debris-removal crews.
Although the City has yet to receive full reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to cover the costs of storm clean up, at least $1 million in unexpected expenses will not be reimbursed.
The City moved ahead with plans that advanced Charlotte City Council's focus areas and priorities and also concentrated on basic service delivery.
Key successes included:
- Preserving the City of Charlotte's AAA bond rating
- Keeping water, sewer and storm water rates among the lowest in the Southeast
- Decreasing the City's property tax rate 10%, from 46.7 cents to 42.0 cents per $100 assessed valuation, as a result of revaluation
- Reducing the homicide rate by 29.8% per 100,000 population, the violent crime rate by 5.8% per 100,000 population and the overall crime rate by 1.0% per 100,000 population
- Adding low-fare service at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport with the arrival of American Trans Air (ATA)
- Increasing by 36.7% the number of new enterprises along business corridors
Looking ahead, there is reason to be optimistic about the economy, although projections remain conservative. City priorities continue to be: partnering with citizens to improve neighborhoods, attracting jobs and developing affordable housing. Maintaining current service levels and managing within existing resources is a constant theme as the City enters our 18th straight year without a property tax rate increase.
With the policy leadership of the Mayor and City Council, strong fiscal management, a dedicated workforce and valuable community partnerships, Charlotte will continue to be a community of choice for living, working and leisure activities.
Pamela A. Syfert
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