Bill Porter

Bill Porter

Bill Porter

Age: 67
Residence: West Asheville
Occupation: Retired businessman
Education: B.S. business administration, Northwestern University
Party: Republican
Political experience: active in Republican Party several years, has run for office three times (mayor 2001, N.C. House 2002 and 2004)

1. Do you support allowing individual municipalities to enact their own campaign-finance reform ordinances?

No.

2. Do you believe the state’s ethics law for legislators is adequate? If not, how would you change it?

In most cases, the problem is not with the law but with reluctant enforcement.

3. What’s your position on the proposed passenger-rail service between Raleigh and Western North Carolina?

It will be cheaper to buy each passenger an airline ticket.

4. Would you support state funding for renovating or rebuilding the Asheville Civic Center? Why or why not?

No, unless you can show me a significant benefit to the state.

5. Do you support a public-funding option for Council of State candidates, similar to the judicial public-financing system approved in 2002? Why?

No. Part of being a viable candidate is the ability to raise money.

6. What do you plan to do to ensure equitable distribution of state lottery funds to WNC?

I favor repeal of the lottery. We do not need a lottery to fund education in N.C.

7. Name three state budget areas or items that should be reduced and three that should be increased.

The governor’s slush fund, the Senate pro tem’s slush fund and the House speaker’s slush fund. All trust funds and reserves robbed by Gov. Easley should be replenished. Driver’s license security should be improved. Voter-identification security should be substantially improved.

8. Would you approve additional local-option rooms-and-meals or food-and-beverage taxes for Buncombe County? Under what circumstances?

No. Local taxes are high enough.

9. As WNC’s land prices skyrocket, would you support tools — such as the property-transfer tax or inclusionary zoning — to help communities keep housing affordable?

No. However, I would consider restricting residential housing to reappraisal for tax purposes only at the time of sale, allowing occupants to live there without escalating taxes driving them out. This would be particularly helpful to senior citizens.

10. What most distinguishes you from your opponents in this primary?

I am … more conservative [and] stronger on seeking tax relief and reducing regulations to help low- and middle-income families. I oppose corporate welfare … to attract out-of-state businesses. I favor strong tort reform to reduce medical costs and encourage medical specialists to stay or to return to WNC.

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