Sandhills Open Thread

Yesterday’s Pilot reports Moore, Chatham, and Orange Counties are joining together to request new local taxing options as alternative sources of revenue to existing sales and property taxes. It is hoped that three counties working together and which happen to be represented at least partially by the Speaker will be more effective in bringing fairness and consistency to taxing authority for all 100 NC counties.

An important element of these resolutions is that the counties are asking to have these options so they can put them up for referendum. This is an important distinction, because if the legislature is to deny these options, they are saying they know better than the voters do about how the people would choose to be taxed. Of course, would also be saying, in not so many words, they desperately need the money that flows from the homebuilder and real estate lobbies. If we're talking about referendums, there should be no need for the Legislature to act to “protect” people from their county governments.

Allowing county voters the flexibility to decide what fits best for themselves is not only a matter of fairness, it diminishes the buying power of the builders and real estate brokers. They would no longer be able to just buy some legislators in Raleigh; they’d have to buy county commissioners in every county.

While we can argue all day about which option among transfer fees, impact fees, sales taxes, etc. are better or worse ways to fund government, hopefully we all agree that 100 counties have 100 different individual situations and that less power centralized in Raleigh means more control of our own destinies at the local level.

Comments

It never ceases to amaze me

that the libertarian right in North Carolina just HATES it when pesky majorities in local communities want to have the authority to raise taxes or fees for things their citizens want.

Hold on here, I don't understand something....

First let me say Thank you to SPLib for posting today's Sandhills Open Thread. Reading Anglico's post, I presume that SPLib's opinion is that the less power our legislators have over how our tax dollars are spent is not good. So if I agree with SPLIb, that citizens should have more control over how their tax dollars are spent am I misguided?

Granted, I think that the homebuilder and real estate lobbies are too powerful and their ideas of switching the tax burden elsewhere is plain dumb. I guess I was thinking of it in terms of the graph put up the other day showing that over 50% of our tax dollars are now going to the Iraq war. If I could have a say, I would want my tax dollars redirected to other, more important (imho) areas.

Don't jump on me....just explain where I'm wrong...'cause obviously I am.

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

I think I was saying that if

I think I was saying that if we need to look at some alternative forms of taxation/fees to cover local needs like schools and jails, it is better to be decided at the local level instead of the state level. Art Pope can't "buy" enough hairdressers to make a majority of voters at the local referendum level. He becomes less powerful- dimisished to having to buy airtime instead of candidates.

Sounds like SPLib

is saying that the Lege should step back from controlling how a local government raises the money it needs to raise to fulfill its responsibilities to its citizens.

At our precinct meeting a very wise and knowledgable man said,

Local problems are best and most effectively handled by those who know most about the issues and care most about making things fair and right. Those people are most often those within the local government entity. They should be given the options they need to find the right solutions to their county's needs.

I could be wrong, but that sounds to me like what SPLib has stated here.

But I'm totally with you on redirecting some of those Federal tax dollars. $481 Billion is just plain NUTS to give to the Pentagon when education gets ~$50 Billion. Its nuts. NUTS.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

China

Mini Baby Boom

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Since this is an open thread

and lcloud lives in the sandhills, please don't miss her announcement. You will find it under the post titled Argh. :)

She has some pretty amazing news and I for one can say I'm just a bit green with envy.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Read it and commented SD

Was a great surprise....and you know how I love surprises!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Progressive Discussions

Need help finding something I wrote

I heard from one of our readers from the JLF yesterday, taking me to task because I apparently implied that there are religious charter schools and that the fundies want to divert tax dollars to support them. Which brings to mind a few thoughts.

First, why can't I find the particular entry he's referring to. My Googly skills appear to be suspect.

Second, why are JLF employees apparently forbidden from commenting here? They're reading stuff for sure, because I get emails from friends in their inner circles who report that they're upset about this or that.

In any case, I told this guy I'd try to clean up whatever mis-representations I've made by reporting our exchange.

Thanks for the clarification and for taking time to dig this up.

My studying of the faith-based initiatives debate in Washington suggests that the Bush administration would welcome further erosion of the separation of church and state and would like to find ways to fund religious charter schools. This 2000 quote from Bush on PBS's Frontline is symptomatic:

Tax money to religious schools OK, if they’re teaching kids:

Q: Do you see any problem with taxpayers’ money going to a religious education?

A: No. I don’t at all. What I have trouble with is people accepting failure, with people turning a blind eye to the fact that schools are not teaching children. And I also have trouble with the federal government mandating school systems to behave one way or the other. The best way to encourage excellence is to free people to innovate. The federal government should not mandate choice and charters.

Source: PBS Frontline interview, “The Battle Over School Choice” May 23, 2000

I don't know for certain if the NC GOP, which has been consistently in lock-step with Bush on a host of misguided policies, would agree with this one as well, but my instinct is that they would. First came the pledge of allegiance, making "Under God" a part of the daily school ritual. So what's next? Just because something is a law today bears no relation to what will happen in the future. Maybe conservatives with a Libertarian bent would oppose such funding, but you all have been eerily silent when it comes to the erosion of civil liberties being driven by the overall GOP agenda.

I'll post all this as a follow up to the original entry.

Thanks.

J

A+

Send me a message or email with a few details and I'll find it.

FYI I'm in Wilmington for a conference. Maybe I'll have time to track down the President and First Man of Nanistan.

Woo Hoo!

President and first man.....hehehe

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



***************************
Vote Democratic, the ass you save may be your own.

Its ok if you are john mccain

hit up this diary
Quick summary:

"Americans are very frustrated, and they have every right to be," McCain said. "We've wasted a lot of our most precious treasure, which is American lives."

Compare that to What Obama said a few months ago:

We ended up launching a war that should have never been authorized and should have never been waged and to which we have now spent $400 billion and has seen over 3,000 lives of the bravest young Americans wasted.

Im waiting for the right wing outrage.

More importantly, I am waiting for letters to the editor from some people here.

Draft Brad Miller -- NC Sen ActBlue :::Petition

"Keep the Faith"

Since this is an open thread......

Here's a podcast from The Pilot featuring my son's band. Rock On.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

What fun!

and what a neat service by the Pilot. Commercial Quality. Love it.