Letter: How to pay for downtown remedies

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Whatever is done, it should not mean more of a tax burden to locals, as we are slammed already with rising property taxes and everything else becoming so expensive.

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority is sitting on millions of dollars in its coffers and should spend some of its money making downtown Asheville the tourism haven that it promises it is in all of its marketing efforts, but their promise is currently not delivered.

I realize that the North Carolina legislature decides what the TDA can spend its money on, but North Carolina will start losing tourism revenue if they don’t act soon.

And even though our state legislators may frown on Asheville’s left-leaning politics, I have to agree with Rupert Murdoch when he acknowledged that decisions made during “Fox News” coverage of the 2020 election were not about red or blue but about green. Asheville’s downtown issue is not just about safety, but about tourism green for North Carolina.

— Lyn Benjamin

Editor’s note: Most of the letters about downtown Asheville in the March 15 issue came in after a recent Xpress newsletter that highlighted three articles covering concerns about public safety and cleanliness downtown. Those stories can be found at avl.mx/chuavl.mx/chw and avl.mx/cht. To sign up for Xpress’ free newsletter, go to avl.mx/8st.


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2 thoughts on “Letter: How to pay for downtown remedies

  1. Mike Rains

    The TDA was established to attract people to visit not just Asheville but Western NC in general (tourism). But make no mistake, the ultimate goal is to attract people with real money to invest in real estate in Western NC. Why else would they be advertising at the US Open tennis tournament in New York?
    Here’s a snippet from recent Citizen Times article on this advertising:

    “On Aug. 30 TDA President and CEO Vic Isley at first declined to answer questions about the deal, saying the information would be available at an Aug. 31 TDA board meeting, to be held at 9 a.m. at the Center for Craft at 67 Broadway St. downtown.
    But Isley later that day came back with details, such as cost and where potential tourists would come from: New York, Washington, Las Vegas and other markets.”

    Tourists from New York, Washington and Las Vegas? Well maybe as a first goal, but read between the lines. They are looking for monied interests to “invest” in WNC. They want to USE WNC as a growth engine for the state.

    To that end, the State is not going to divert the TDA’s income to Asheville’s problems. The monies they do allow to be spent on local projects would never be spent on anything that might involve “social issues”. It will only be for physical projects or support thereof.

    The State is totally fine with “prostituting” Asheville for its larger goals. Plain and simple.

    • kw

      Yep, and sort of laughable to think that we’re going to be too surprised when a tourist gets physically harmed by the vagrants that the TDA doesn’t want to help us police.

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