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Asheville Council’s budget proposal maintains tax rate

Asheville’s proposed 2014-2015 operating budget maintains the property tax rate, according to documents in City Council’s agenda packet for the Tuesday, June 10, meeting. Council will review the budget and take public comment on the proposed $147.5 million proposal, which includes a 3 percent pay increase across the board for city employees but keeps the tax rate at 46 […]

Wit’s end: As Council debated whether to delay infrastructure projects in order to raise staff pay, Council member Marc Hunt called for resolving long-term budget problems. Photo by Max Cooper

Squeezed

At a sometimes tense June 5 budget work session, Asheville City Council members failed to reach consensus on what size raise to give city employees. In their last formal meeting on May 22, Council members had responded sympathetically to demands by police and firefighters for more than the 1 percent cost-of-living increase in the proposed […]

Services or taxes – which is it?

Jeff Gerber's July 20 letter, “Study Hard, N.C. Legislature,” perfectly illustrates the conservative mindset about government revenue and spending. He says, "making cuts to the law-enforcement and judicial system is ludicrous," and "conservatives never raise taxes.” Money doesn't grow on trees; it has to come from somewhere. In the case of government-provided services such as […]

Annexation is rural robbery

In the Feb. 16 Xpress article “Hard Rocks, Few Places,” David Forbes [says] that Asheville should have used involuntary annexation as a greater source of income as it brings in significant new revenue. Picking pockets is also a source of revenue. Involuntary annexation is essentially the same thing. Asheville’s budget problems are the result of […]

Is Asheville ready for the fiscal flood?

In 2004, Hurricane Frances hit Asheville and caused significant flooding and widespread damage. Frances caused nearly $200 million worth of destruction in Western North Carolina. In 2011 there is worse weather headed our way, and it isn’t driven by warm waters in the Atlantic, but [by] an unsustainable burden of debt created by the N.C. […]

Make safe sidewalks a priority, not parking decks

I am against the proposed deal between the not-so-Public Interest Projects developers and the city of Asheville. The city could more wisely use the revenue generated from our just-paid-off parking decks and other parking facilities by providing sidewalks for neighborhoods and improving public transportation. Safe sidewalks for residents of Asheville should be a priority. Historically, […]

“Workforce housing” leaves most workers in the cold

An article in the Nov. 24 Mountain Xpress [“Not Ready for Prime Time”] mentioned affordable housing as “workforce” housing and described such jobs as police officers, nurses, teachers and other workers. According to the article, affordable housing was based on 30 percent of the workers’ annual household income. There were examples of pricing at the […]