The average Buncombe county family of four pays nearly $1,600 more each year in taxes and fees to Buncombe County than the average North Carolina county resident. Why is this?
In the 2011/2012 Buncombe county budget, there is a line item called “Contributions,” which is money given to outside agencies (nonprofits) through grants, contracts or assistance (your county taxpayer dollars). The problem is that this line item is significant — it amounts to over $103 million or a whooping 40 percent of our general fund expenditures. It is the single-largest budget expenditure, surpassing the cost of all Buncombe County employees’ salaries and benefits.
If, as publicly stated by the commission chairman, the countywide compensation study (which was not countywide and only included five job classifications out of hundreds) showed that Buncombe County employees are underpaid (which was not the conclusion of the study), then perhaps we need to be looking into what nonprofits are getting county money, how much money there are getting, and what are they doing with the money.
There is a reason Buncombe County is more expensive to live in than other N.C. counties. Maybe “Contributions” is part of that reason.
— Linda Southard