State Budget Crisis Could Cost Raleigh City Workers Their Raises
Posted May 15, 2002 10:40 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — The
2002-03 budget proposed
for the city of Raleigh includes higher fees for people who own homes and businesses. City workers say they could pay, too, because their pay raises could be tied up in the state budget battle.
Raleigh police work to serve and protect the city and its residents, but they do not work for free.
The president of Raleigh's police union said the city's budgeting could end up costing officers money, and they are not happy about it.
Every time you buy something in Raleigh, some of the money should be going to the city in the form of sales tax. However, the state has taken $8 million of Raleigh's sales tax revenue so far.
"Taking money that does not belong to you is wrong, and one way of going about getting it is to initiate litigation," said Kieran Shanahan, a member of the Raleigh City Council.
Shanahan said suing the state may be the only way to prevent the city from losing another $20 million.
If the state chooses to withhold more of Raleigh's sales tax money, city workers will not be getting a 1.5 percent cost of living raise.
Nidiffer said police officers and other city workers have been shut out in the city's budget. He said no raise will hurt morale, not to mention the pocketbook. Nidiffer said city employees will have to pay more in health insurance next year.
"When you don't make a lot, anything is good. So 1.5 percent, that will help buy some groceries," he said.
This year's city budget calls for a 6.5 percent increase in spending. One police officer said if the city is going to spend more money, city workers are entitled to a raise.