Charlotte, NC — No Property Tax for Streetcar
The decision of Charlotte's new city manager Ron Carlee to remove a 2.5-mile Uptown streetcar extension from property tax-supported capital funding has cleared the way for City Council adoption of a public works program. Carlee is hoping to get federal funding for the 2.5-mile extension of the 1.5-mile starter line, WFAE public radio reports. The new capital budget does include improvements along the route of the proposed "Lynx" light rail extension from Uptown northeast to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte campus. The streetcar route eventually might be expanded to 10 miles linking Rosa Parks transit center with the Eastland Mall redevelopment.
A group of council members who objected to the streetcar being funded by property taxes passed a package last year that did not include the transit project. But then-Mayor Anthony Foxx (now US Secretary of Transportation) vetoed the plan. Now the city is pursuing federal funding for the streetcar and is hoping to find funding elsewhere in the budget to match the federal funds.