City of Charleston approves 2018 budget

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Out with the old and in with the new!

Charleston City Council members approved the new budget for 2018 during the council meeting on Monday night.

The 2018 budget includes approximately a five percent increase compared to 2017. Officials said that is an all-natural growth in revenue.

The council also decided to increase the storm water fee by $2.

The budget includes a fully-funded firefighter pay plan which is approximately $340,000.

It also has a city-wide employee cost of living adjustment – approximately $2.6 million.

Next year's spending plan comes with no tax increases.

The mayor and council have identified approximately $2 million in cuts -- from delaying bond issuances to cutting administrative overhead in a number of departments.

There have been some members of the community upset this budget does not include any funds allocated for stormwater issues..

The city had less money to work with for the 2018 general budget because it has to fund $4 million extra in employee benefits.

City officials said that was an unfunded state mandate for retirement and increases in retiree healthcare.

Officials said their "magic number" is a budget that is balanced against revenue projections, which is where they are now at $210,305,555.

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