City Manager Dale Iman outlined a proposed budget of $179.5 million. That's just over the three percent increase.
Iman says the increase covers pay raises, improvements to the city bus system, along with high fuel and utility costs and overall government operation.
Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne calls the proposed budget austere and says it reflects a growing economy.
"[We've] seen that with so many indicators per capita increases indicators, and others and this is a reflection of it," Chavonne said. "In fact, I think you will see as you look in the budget the biggest concern we have is [what] might happen in Raleigh, in their effort to balance their budget. But local revenues are up; our property taxes are up, our sales tax collections are up. Our local indicators are very good, which is an indication of us being in an economic bubble that we appreciate very much."
Although the Mayor talked about property taxes being up, city council went to great pains to point out that city residents may see their property tax values, not the tax rate reflected in their tax bills. The city tax rate remains the same.
Several council workshops are planned to go over the budget. Residents can have their say at a public hearing May 23.
City council is expected to vote on the proposed budget around mid June.