Charlotte Future

​City Bonds

General Obligation Bonds are the primary source of funding for many projects that allow the city to keep pace with an expanding population by replacing aging infrastructure and improving quality of life. Bonds allow the city to pay for projects over a longer period of time and must be approved by voters.​

Funding for the current CIP is proposed to occur over four bond cycles; previous voter-approved bonds in 2014, 2016 and 2018, as well as​ future bonds in 2020.​

​Projects to be funded with voter-approved 2018 General Obligation Bonds

The 2018 bond referendum is $223.08 million divided into three categories: Housing, Neighborhood Improvement and Transportation.

Housing Trust Fund

$50 million
Housing bonds fund the city’s Housing Diversity Program to increase the supply of safe, decent and affordable housing for residents of all income levels throughout Charlotte. The Housing Diversity Program not only addresses the​ need for new construction, it also helps preserve existing housing through rehabilitation of both single and multifamily housing units. 

Neighborhood Improvement Bonds

$55 million
Neighborhood improvement bonds fund projects that address infrastructure needs in the city’s established neighborhoods and emerging high-growth areas. They support a network of streets, sidewalks, greenways and bike lanes to better connect neighborhoods with major employment, institutional and retail areas.​ 

Projects funded with voter-approved 2018 neighborhood improvement bonds



Transportation Bonds

​$118.08 million

In a growing city like Charlotte, it is critical to provide safe, convenient and reliable transportation options. Investments are intended to increase overall mobility by providing transportation choices, promoting access to transit and major transportation routes and improving connectivity within and between communities. With that in mind, the Community Investment Plan will continue investing in transit access, bridges, trails, sidewalks and streets.​​

Projects funded with voter-approved 2018 transportation bonds




​Keeping pace with an expanding population, replacing aging infrastructure and improving quality of life often emerge as major factors that drive the City of Charlotte bond program. Transportation projects such as new roads and sidewalks, neighborhood improvements like curb and gutter, and economic development projects like affordable housing are just a few of the projects funded by (General Obligation) bonds approved by Charlotte voters in the last few years. Constructing these bond financed projects ensures a stable quality of life in our city and makes Charlotte a better place to live.

​A General Obligation bond is a financing tool similar to a home mortgage that the City uses to finance large capital projects over a 20-year period.

​The City's credit rating is "AAA," the highest rating a city can receive from national rating agencies. This makes bonds a low risk investment for lenders and also provides the City with a low interest rate.

​The City's capital needs exceed the ability to fund these projects on a "pay as you go basis." Bonds allow the City to pay for projects over a longer period of time. Typically the City asks voters to authorize bonds for major projects or package of several similar projects.

  1. Projects are compiled from the City's Capital Budget or Community Investment Plan (CIP), a five-year infrastructure plan that matches the City's highest priority capital needs with a financing schedule.
  2. City staff recommend projects to Council for inclusion in the bond package. Their recommendations are based on feasibility and cost effectiveness.
  3. City Council reviews the list, often making additions or deletions and approves a final list of projects for inclusion into bond package(s), to be placed on the ballot.

Projects are selected from the City's Capital Budget or Capital Investment Plan. These plans include investments in neighborhoods, housing and roads.

Voter approval of the bond packages only authorizes funding for the project. There are several crucial steps that must occur before construction:

  • planning
  • project design (which includes public input)
  • Acquisition of land
  • Solicitation of construction bids

Depending on the project, this process may take several months or several years to complete.

​In the case of projects that fulfill a critical need, some design may occur before bonds are approved. However, in most cases, work starts after bond approval to ensure the most prudent use of resources, and because the City does not assume voters will approve all bonds on the ballot.

​If an assessment determines that certain infrastructure needs that would be fulfilled by a project are too important, Council may fund projects through other sources. However, if funding is not available, the projects are held for inclusion into future bond packages.

​After a contract is award to the lowest responsible bidder, the residents in the vicinity of the construction site are notified of when construction is expected to begin and end.  For large projects the City will often develop printed materials, - such as newsletters, develop a web presence, hold public meetings, and work with the local news media to keep the public informed.

​Here are some of the ways:

  • At the initial public meeting, the City asks residents and business owners what issues should be addressed as the plan is developed for the project.
  • The preliminary design is presented and discussed at future public meetings.
  • The final design includes details of the project including the impact on the environment, motorists, transit, homes and businesses.
  • Once construction is underway, a City inspector will either remain on-site full time or make daily visits to the project.
  • Work of multiple agencies, such as Charlotte Water, Storm Water and Engineering & Property Management are coordinated to minimize the impact of disruption on the community.