Dispatches from local community forum on N.C. budget and economy

Photo of Biltmore Farms President Jack Cecil talking about state tax reform by Rep–elect Nathan Ramsey via Twitter.

The United Way, N.C. Budget and Tax Center and other organizations teamed up Dec. 11 to host a community forum on the economy, state budget, and tax modernization.

Speakers included Elizabeth Brazas of the Community Foundation of WNC and Jack Cecil of Biltmore Farms, who each led discussions on modernizing the state’s tax system.

The idea behind the event was to provide “an opportunity to lift up what is happening in communities across the state as North Carolina continues to recover from the economic downturn and state budget and policy decisions roll out,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the Budget & Tax Center.

“We know that a high quality education is the ultimate pathway out of poverty,” added Jill Cox, Government Relations director for United Way of North Carolina. “Quality education leads to strong and thriving communities.”

A number of elected officials were in the packed room of at least 125 attendees, including Buncombe County Statehouse representatives Nathan Ramsey and Susan Fisher, Asheville City Council members Mark Hunt and Gordon Smith, and Mayor Terry Bellamy.

The Asheville–Buncombe County League of Women Voters co-sponsored the forum and used its Twitter handle to report from the event as it unfolded. Afterwards, League President Karen Oelschlaeger, who administers the organization’s Twitter account, said it was “an engaging discussion,” adding that she thinks state tax reform is “not a left vs. right issue,” and is needed to “bring North Carolina in to the 21st Century.”

Ramsey and Smith also posted dispatches from the event via Twitter.

Here’s a look at the forum via their Tweets and photos, rounded up using Storify.

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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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