Letters: Chatham’s GOP fixated on killing revenue sources that the public supports

Virginia Penley, Pittsboro
Posted 2/28/20

To the editor:

The local Republican Party seems fixated on stopping any efforts to provide alternative revenue sources to our county in order to provide funds for programs that a majority of the …

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Letters: Chatham’s GOP fixated on killing revenue sources that the public supports

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Posted

To the editor:

The local Republican Party seems fixated on stopping any efforts to provide alternative revenue sources to our county in order to provide funds for programs that a majority of the electorate supports.

This is evidenced by the platforms of the county commissioners and the results of the elections of 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Their opposition is knee jerk and predictable without much historic context regarding the issue of alternative revenue sources for our community.

Local media has provided a bit of the history in its coverage of referendums that have been our ballot over the years.

Of specific interest was the success of liquor-by-drink, which was passed despite no support from the local Republican Party (CCGOP) in 2009 and the failed effort to pass the Land Transfer Tax (LTT) in 2007 that was opposed by the local Republican Party and affiliated groups.

Had the LTT passed in 2007 our county would currently be receiving nearly $3.4 million dollars a year from property transfers — a fee that would be mostly funded by new growth in the county — a policy that a majority of the voters supports.

This effort by the local Republican Party and other aligned forces to kill the LTT in 2007 has cost the county coffers over $27 million since 2008 and thus meant that the Chatham County board of commissioners has had less flexibility with real property tax rates and funding much needed programs and policy initiatives.

Folks, that is real money.

As a longtime citizen, taxpayer and property owner in Chatham County I would like to know how the local CCGOP proposes to make up for this continuous budget shortfall that they caused — a shortfall that increases every year.

Who knows, after 2020 their truculence may be costing us $4 million dollars a year for killing the LTT in 2007. These are funds that could be invested in our schools, aging local infrastructure and our water quality.

So if they succeed in stopping this small sales taxes increase on March 3rd — an increase that would put us in line with with Harnett, Lee and Moore counties — what is their plan to make up for shorting investments in our community?

Ask their indicted billionaire mega-donor Greg Lindberg to write annual checks?

He is currently busy on trial in federal court with former CCGOP Chairman John Palermo and likely not taking calls.

The better bet is to pass the referendum which will only cost me 25 cents on every $100 spent excluding gas and food at the grocery.

I think this widow on a fixed income can afford that to better our community.

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