Potential tax changes could siphon money out of Asheville

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

State laws could put the bite on Asheville’s budget.

Tax changes were discussed during a scheduled item about the fiscal year 2015-2016 city fees and charges at the April 14 City Council meeting. The changes being pushed in the N.C.  Senate are designed to help businesses statewide and would bump up poorer counties but leave a potential $3 million deficit for Asheville, said Council members.

“When the leadership in Raleigh said, ‘We’ll fix you,’ we know what they meant by it,” said Council member Cecil Bothwell.

He was referring to state lawmakers plans to eliminate business privilege license fees on July 1 — fees that had generated about $1.5 million for the city. The deficit could potentially cut into the city’s $100 million general fund.

In new business, a resolution was passed that will make it easier for Henderson County to sell about 137 acres to Buncombe County along Ferry Road. The two counties entered into an interlocal agreement in April 2014 with the land, and Henderson County now wants to sell it.

The resolution waived the caveat that proceeds from the sale be used for a law enforcement training center that is no longer needed by Henderson County.

Here is the City Council’s full action agenda:

THIS ACTION AGENDA IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. Authority to carry out actions related to any council decision

should be obtained through normal departmental procedure.

Please call the City Clerk’s office at 259-5601 if you have any questions.

Present: Mayor Esther E. Manheimer, Presiding; Vice-Mayor Marc H. Hunt; Councilman Cecil Bothwell; Councilman Jan

B. Davis; Councilman Christopher A. Pelly; Councilman Gordon D. Smith; Councilwoman Gwen C. Wisler; City

Manager Gary Jackson; City Attorney Robin T. Currin; and City Clerk Magdalen Burleson

Absent: None

ITEM AND SUMMARY ACTION

Budget amendments (1) in the amount of $10,860, from the WNC Veterans’ Memorial Fund

held by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, for maintenance and repair

of the WNC Veterans’ Memorial located in Pack Square Park; and (2) in the amount of $5,000,

from BB&T, for community service workday materials in Carrier Park. Adopted Unanimously

Resolution adopting the Bond Order authorizing authorizing the issuance of Water System

Revenue Refunding Bonds. Adopted Unanimously

Resolution providing for the sale of the 2015 Refunding Bonds and setting the terms and

conditions upon which the 2015 Refunding Bonds will be sold. Adopted Unanimously

Resolution authorizing the City Manager to enter into a contract with Code Studio to

develop a Form Based Code for the Greater River Arts District. Adopted Unanimously

Resolution authorizing the City Manager to enter into a contract with Threshold Acoustics LLC

for Acoustical and Structural Analysis of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Adopted Unanimously

Budget amendment, in the amount of $60,000, to redirect funding from the US Cellular Center

Capital Fund to the US Cellular Center Operating Fund to fund the Acoustical and Structural

Analysis Contract of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. Adopted Unanimously

Legislative Update Heard Update

Public hearing to consider amendments to the Unified Development Ordinance to include

reasonable accommodation procedures. Adopted Unanimously

Resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute any and all documents necessary to amend the

Interlocal Agreement with Henderson County and effectuate the sale of the Ferry Road

property to Buncombe County. Adopted Unanimously

Ordinance adopting the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Fees & Charges. Adopted Unanimously

Boards & Commissions: (Council to determine who, if any, to interview)

– Civil Service Board – Application deadline extended to May 6, 2015, at 5:00 p.m. Deadline Extended

To 5-6-15 at 5 p.m.

– HUB Community Economic Development Alliance Interviews

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About Pat Barcas
Pat is a photojournalist and writer who moved to Asheville in 2014. He previously worked for a labor and social rights advocacy newspaper in Chicago. Email him at pbarcas@gmail.com. Follow me @pbarcas

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