“I’m grateful that local leaders have worked to make the feelings of inclusion I’ve experienced now a legally prescribed reality for all LGBTQ+ people.”
The funds, equal to roughly a quarter of budgeted property tax revenue for the current fiscal year and more than its budgeted spending on general government administration, represent by far the largest pot of federal support yet provided to the county during the pandemic.
Buncombe County would become the first local government in Western North Carolina to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance. Orange County and several municipalities have approved similar language after a statewide ban on such ordinances expired Dec. 1.
“We would end up basically having to raise taxes on everyone else to fund these rebates to businesses that we understand have had a tough year, but many of which have had a great decade ahead of this year,” said Board of Commissioners Chair Brownie Newman.
“The Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners have a unique opportunity to be leaders on the issue of LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections.”
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote again on a contentious plan to add language to the county’s personnel ordinance specifically safeguarding workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.