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33 thoughts on “Sunday open thread

  1. Margaret Williams

    And most commented-on newsblog = our report about the top-two finalists in the city-county’s search for a new community-media project:

  2. Rep. Tim Moffitt introduced a supplementary bill in the State General Assembly that would make the A-B Tech sales tax revenue binding, which it presently is not. That is, it would require that the revenues realized by the sales tax increase must be spent on A-B Tech infrastructure improvements only and nothing else. Sen. Martin Nesbitt killed the bill through parliamentary procedure. Why? Discuss.

  3. OceanofWisdom

    Simple answer about corrupt Nesbitt killing the revenue specific tax bill…Nesbitts crowd wants to be able to spend the money anyway they please without regard to the voters. Typical democrat
    M.O.D. last 140 years in NC!

  4. mat catastrophe

    You would think that someone would have written something along the lines of “all changes in compensation, perquisites, and other forms of remuneration for elected officials of Buncombe County shall go before the people in a general election.”

    Oh, wait. No. You wouldn’t think that at all.

  5. sharpleycladd

    How about the Buncombe County Economic Development Commission, which has seventeen members, only two of whom are elected by voters, and gets to dole out property tax revenues in the form of corporate incentives?

  6. Ricky Party

    Where’s the reporting on the New Belgium story? I’ve heard from a number of sources that it’s a done deal…

  7. Chip Kaufmann

    Why were there no new cartoons from Molton & Brent Brown this week?

  8. Margaret Williams

    Where’s the reporting on the New Belgium story?

    Do you mean the possibility that New Belgium (beer) is considering an Asheville location and/or that the company may be seeking an economic-development incentive from the city of Asheville and Buncombe County? Only rumors so far. But … both City Council and County Commissioners have met in closed session recently to discuss an unnamed economic-development incentive.

  9. mat catastrophe

    Economic incentives, noun: a set of tax breaks used to entice businesses into an area into which they would have moved to anyway, in an effort to shift the tax burden onto the working class, where it clearly belongs.

    • mat catastrophe

      Me? Cynic? Noooooooooooooooooooo.

      Seriously, though, I’ve tried to look at New Belgium’s “triple bottom line” silliness online. A lot of it talks about the “people” and “planet” but not much about “profit”.

      In my opinion, companies that are posting profits have little business asking for or receiving tax breaks and incentives – especially when the burden of those are passed onto the very people supposedly being “helped” by new jobs being created.

      But I understand my old-school notions in this arena are being pushed to the wayside by our new “global economy”.

  10. Ricky Party

    I assure you, the New Belgium deal is a lot more than just a rumor at this point. Where’s the dirt digging investigative reporting?

    • Margaret Williams

      Digging in process, but no official, on-the-record confirmation from primary sources.

  11. Ricky Party

    Don’t these secretive, behind-closed-doors meetings violate open meetings laws? Especially if they’re basically subsidizing the New Belgium venture with tax dollars…

    • Margaret Williams

      Council has 9 matters of business that allow it to go into closed session; no. 4 relates to economic incentives:

      Chapter 143 of N.C. General Statutes:

    • mat catastrophe

      And here we are again: why are “incentives” a trigger for closed meetings?

      Do they just not want the people to know how the tax burden is being shifted to the working class and off of companies that are posting profits, quarter after quarter; year after year?

  12. Illuminatti_01

    I do like the new open thread addition. Lot’s of mind bending stuff, on here. Keep it up.

  13. Margaret Williams

    Mat, I’ve often wondered why econ-incentives trigger closed sessions. I can kind of understand some of the other rules

  14. D. Dial

    Closed sessions that center around “incentives” sounds a lot like “good ole boy & girl” sessions. I s’pose the legal talk could be used as the reasoning. But still closed sessions to discuss incentives, has a stench to it.

  15. Sales tax money goes into the county’s general fund. Voters should be aware that voting for the sales-tax increase is giving the county commissioners a blank check to spend in anyway they choose.

    • Margaret Williams

      Doesn’t the city of Asheville get a cut of sales-tax revenue?

  16. Yes, Margaret, the City gets a cut. There are two ways that the percentage given to the City can be determined (under law) and the County consistently uses the one which gives the City less money. About 75 percent of the sales tax collected in Buncombe is collected in Asheville, but we get about 19 percent of what the state hands to Buncombe.

    I concur that economic incentives should not be discussed behind closed doors. It is a rule entirely concocted to “protect” insider information. The result is that Staff consults with businesses and with County Staff and with the state government and with the Economic Development Commission, and all of the other secret players, and concocts a deal … which Council then rubber stamps. The argument is made: “If we vote ‘no’ after all that good-faith negotiation, we’ll get a reputation for being unfriendly to business.” Bunch of B.S.

    • D. Dial

      Cecil, perhaps dents can be made in the “good ole boy/girl system. Do you have any suggestions???

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