Charlotte City Council asks local state delegation for sales tax increase

The Charlotte City Council officially requested a sales tax increase referendum from the Mecklenburg delegation in the General Assembly. It’s a heavy ask, but Charlotte leaders believe it is vital for the future.

ALSO READ: Charlotte City Council discusses potential sales and property tax increases

“What we are seeking is the authority for the voters to be able to tax themselves for improvements to the transportation network,” said Dana Fenton, city lobbyist.

It’s a story Channel 9 has been following for more than two years. Charlotte city council members want a referendum to raise the sales tax. If voters agree to it, the funds will be used to create new light rail lines, expand the streetcar, and improve bus service. However, Charlotte lacks buy-in from the surrounding towns and the Republican-led General Assembly is skeptical. Democratic state Rep. Carla Cunningham said she had conversations with Huntersville Mayor Melinda Bales and Rep. John Bradford. She says both aren’t on board right now.

“The power in Raleigh is on the other side of the aisle and one of the things you have to recognize is they do hold the power,” Cunningham said.

While the headwinds remain, city leaders remain undeterred. They are trying to build regional support for the transit plan and say the whole area’s future depends on it

“The issues we have around mobility are not just moving people for people sake it. (It) is about how do we have jobs and having the ability to get to home and work?” Mayor Vi Lyles said.

VIDEO: Charlotte City Council discusses potential sales and property tax increases