Designing frameworks: Council readies for legislature’s return

Last year, relations between the North Carolina General Assembly and the city of Asheville were marked by hostility, public wars of words and even a lawsuit. At a special meeting yesterday, March 18, however, multiple Asheville City Council members expressed a desire to improve things this year, even though looming legislation could cost the city further revenue. They also signed off on efforts to better coordinate the city’s own lobbying efforts in Raleigh.

Asheville’s budget (and a tax increase) is here

At the end of a rollercoaster budget season marked by dire predictions, unpredictability at the state level, and Asheville City Council members trying to find the cash for their own plans, there’s finally a vote on the budget this evening. For the first time since 1995, city residents could see a major tax increase, intended to pay for an “aspirational” list of major projects.

What’s it worth? Behind the city of Asheville’s “aspirational” $11.6 million wish list

New parking decks, affordable housing, a renovation to the Asheville Art Museum, and pedestrian improvements. All these and more are the goals of an $11.6 million fund the city of Asheville’s government wants to set up in an attempt to spur economic development. With planned savings from state legislation looking increasingly unlikely, the city may use a tax increase to make the projects a reality.

Uncertainty still reigns in Asheville’s budget process-attachment0

Uncertainty still reigns in Asheville’s budget process

The public got a chance to weigh in on the city’s proposed $143 million budget at tonight’s Asheville City Council meeting. Some were critical of the priorities laid out and a proposed 1 cent tax increase. But during Council’s discussion, members revealed yet another budget plan may be in the works, with higher taxes, as they believe state legislators are unlikely to allow Asheville and Buncombe County to form a Culture and Recreations Authority that could save millions for the local governments. Photo by Max Cooper.