Opinion

Chatham leads way by getting out of way

As our local government budget sessions ended, there was a lot of hand wringing in Orange County and Chapel Hill about our fiscal future. Savings are being depleted. Education needs more funding. Capital improvements to government buildings and schools are being deferred. Property taxes are being increased with the prospect of higher rates to come. It’s beginning to look like past policies put us on an unsustainable path. We need more revenues. To that end Orange County is finally adding infrastructure to some of its economic development districts and Chapel Hill has approved redevelopment plans for Glen Lennox and the commercial areas around Eastgate.

Why the State should sell Jennette’s pier

The NC House budget included a provision for the state to sell the controversial Jennette’s pier located in Nags Head. The pier opened three years ago after the 2009 legislature approved $25 million to fund its construction. House legislators say this move could generate revenue for the state to help other priorities – including the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Selling the pier is a good idea, and Civitas applauds efforts for the state government to sell off its non-essential assets.

No property tax rate increase is good news for Chatham County

We passed the 2014-2015 budget on Tuesday night, May 20. The theme of this year’s budget is ‘Working together is success”. By working together with our departments, the school administration, the Sheriff’s department, the Community College, and others we were able to fund the county’s priorities without an increase in the property tax rate for the 4th consecutive budget year. Helping make that possible is an economic recovery better than the State or national average. Our unemployment rate is consistently lower than the state average. Our sales tax revenue is growing at almost double the statewide rate. Companies have invested another $100 million in new capital in Chatham already this year. The rating agencies recently affirmed our AA+ bond rating with Moody’s giving us a favorable outlook that could lead to an upgrade in the near future.

Related:
Commissioner Bock Blog

Here’s what real tax increases in North Carolina look like

Progressive protestors, including “Moral Monday” demonstrators, have for roughly the past year voiced their opposition to a supposed state “tax increase” passed last year. Specifically, they gripe that the landmark 2013 North Carolina tax reform – which lowered income tax rates on all income levels – actually results in a tax increase on 80 percent of North Carolinians. The “80 percent will pay higher taxes”, however, has been soundly debunked.

Fracking isn’t new

One problem with the Monday protests is what lies between the lines. Listening to speakers today on Halifax Mall, for instance, you’d think fracking is something new and experimental and, therefore, dangerous. But fracking isn’t something new and untes…

Civitas poll: North Carolina voters vastly overestimate NC ethnic diversity

The latest Civitas Institute Poll shows North Carolina voters overestimate the diversity of the state’s ethnic makeup. Voters’ average view is that the state’s population is 51.4 percent white, 33.5 percent black and 23.8 percent Latino. According to estimates* from the U.S. Census Bureau, 69.8 percent of North Carolinians are white 21.4 percent are black, and 8.3 percent are Latino or Hispanic.

Stream valleys and forests will frame Chatham Park’s neighborhoods

Hello. My name is Thomas D’Alesandro. I live in Wilmette, Illinois and I have been working on Chatham Park’s master plan for over two years. I build live-work-play communities that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. The National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and the American Planning Association have recognized Columbia, Maryland, Reston, Virginia, The Woodlands, Texas and other places I’ve helped develop.

The South is a dilemma for both parties

What President Obama needed was a Shirley Temple! Not the popular non-alcoholic drink named for the childhood star. What he needed as he faced the nation’s worst economic situation since the Great Depression was the kind of help President Franklin D. Roosevelt got from a bright, cheerful, optimistic child actor who lifted the spirits of almost every American during the dark times of the 1930s.

Related:
NC Book Watch

Randy Voller ridiculed on “The Daily Show” by Jon Stewart

Racist roots: Progressives sought white supremacy in 1898

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise in 2013 that North Carolina Democrats and self-styled progressives reacted with fury when Republicans took over the General Assembly and the governor’s office. That’s because Democrats and Progressives reacted the same way when their hold on power was threatened more than a century ago. A little over a year ago, on February 22, 2013, the Charlotte Observer broke the story of a leaked strategy memo from leftist group Blueprint NC that described the game plan “progressive” groups should use to “eviscerate” the Republican leadership. While the memo itself was scandalous, it exposed the liberal Left’s determination to regain the power that had been lost to conservatives in the 2010 and 2012 elections. No student of North Carolina history would underestimate what the Left will do in such circumstances.