So what would you cut?
Now, before jumping in with your ideas, it's important to know what all the county pays for.
Schools, the jail, parks, libraries, and social services and the health department are just some areas that receive county money. The county also pays for school construction, supports air and water quality initiatives, and gives money to some local non-profits organizations, among other initiatives.
To see exactly how the county spends money, click here to view the 2009-10 budget approved by county commissioners last June. (Warning: the file is 24 mb in size and will take a few minutes to download.)
The budget book is more than 600 pages long, but you can start by checking these pages:
- Pages 106-123: List of county program and service areas, including whether the county has any flexibility in providing the service and/or its funding level
- Pages 124-25: Spending for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Central Piedmont Community College
- Pages 126-128: Money for non-profit and other outside agencies
- Page 167-206: A department-by-department breakdown of services and spending
As part of our budget coverage this spring, the Observer wants to know your ideas on which county departments and services should get top-billing for funding, and what areas you think should be cut.
Send us your ideas by leaving a comment below, or click here to e-mail county government reporter April Bethea.
Update, 11:30 a.m. March 24: Thank you everyone for your ideas. We're hoping to spend the coming weeks analyzing the feasibility and/or likelihood of what has been suggested. -- April B