View Article
17

Local government spending in Raleigh and Wake County is mushrooming.

The City Council wants to spend more.

The County Commissioners want to spend more.

The School Board wants to spend more.

The County Commissioners’ Blue Ribbon Task Force wants to spend more.

And they all want to borrow and raise taxes to pay for it.

What’s going on here?

Mayor Charlie Meeker has brought a whole new philosophy – when it comes to taxing and spending – to local government. And, at last, it’s taken root, reached critical mass and erupted. And it’s not going to be easy to put the spending genie back in the bottle.

The Mayor spent $215 million on a convention center and $20 million on a downtown hotel, then there wasn’t enough money for roads so the City had to borrow and raise taxes. Then the Mayor spent so much in the latest budget he had to raise taxes again.

Let’s look at the latest proposal rattling around City Hall. The proposal to grant North Hills builder John Kane $75 million (and an exemption from property taxes) so he can build a parking deck and develop the land around the old Bennigan’s restaurant across Six Forks Road from North Hills.

Usually, when a developer builds a mall he borrows the money, repays his debt, and pays his property taxes to the city.

Under Mr. Kane’s proposal, in effect the City loans him $75 million to build a parking deck, then he repays the debt with money he would have paid in property taxes.

You can’t blame John Kane for thinking that would be a good deal.

Look at it from his perspective.

He sees Mayor Meeker spending money left and right, for instance, pouring millions into a convention center that will probably lose money – and require tax subsidies – for years. While Mr. Kane is talking about building a mall that will actually make a profit.

He sees Mayor Meeker spending $40 million for an underground parking garage downtown and subsidizing restaurants and supermarkets – so, he thinks, why shouldn’t the Mayor support improving North Hills a little, too?

Then a surprising thing happens.

The Mayor turns his thumbs down on Mr. Kane’s proposal.

Even stranger, the one kind word for poor Mr. Kane’s $75 million loan from the City comes from a Republican – Councilman Tommy Craven.

So, suddenly, we have an odd picture. The Mayor, who’s spent millions on about everything in sight, is against spending another $75 million at North Hills – and a Republican is for it.

What’s happening here? Well, the Mayor’s not against spending money. He just doesn’t want to spend it at North Hills. He wants to spend it in ‘underprivileged’ areas – like downtown. How do you explain a Republican wanting to give a $75 million tax subsidy to a private business? Beats me.

The real problem here isn’t whether the City subsidizing North Hills is a good idea. The real problem is the City – under Mayor Meeker – has opened Pandora’s box by spending taxpayers’ money to help people who own hotels, restaurants and supermarkets make a profit. So, naturally, any businessman, when he sees Mayor Meeker subsidizing his competitors, is going to ask himself, Why not me too? Why not North Hills? Or, for that matter, why not Crabtree Valley? Or Triangle Town Center? Or IBM? Or any of another hundred businesses? After all, if the City is going to subsidize their competitors, shouldn’t it subsidize them too?

In one sense, cutting taxes on anyone in Raleigh these days is so unique Mr. Kane’s proposal has a wayward appeal. But the whole idea of saying to one group of people, You don’t have to pay taxes, when everyone else does is troubling.

The real question is should the City be spending money like water to subsidize everyone in sight?

Councilman Craven aside, the Republicans need to answer that with a big, “No.” They need to stop voting to subsidize hotels and start offering a counter-voice to Mayor Meeker on spending and taxes. And that voice doesn’t need to just be heard in the hallways of Town Hall and in the City Council Chambers. It needs to be heard by the 25,000 taxpayers who vote in City elections. And among anyone else who will listen.

Click to Read & Post Comments

Posted in: General, Raleigh
Actions: E-mail | Permalink | Comments (5) RSS comment feed |

Comments

jiajia
# jiajia
Friday, July 23, 2010 3:59 AM
The easiest way to take advantage of the air shoes discounts offered by Nike on its running shoes and other products is to obtain Nike running shoes discount coupons. These coupons are available at a number of online Air Max 90 sources which also means that you can obtain yours immediately. The savings that you make with your discount coupons are sometimes quite substantial.Discounts on nike free running shoes are also available during the holiday airmax seasons. You should therefore keep an eye out for any promotions around the major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whether you buy your Nike air max shoe at a discounted price or you are in a hurry and cannot for the seasonal discounts, a nike free 5.0 shoe is a treasure you will always be happy to possess.Nike air shoes has always lived up to the reputation of being a forward thinking brand. It's been loved for its quality and innovative designs. The truckloads of Nike Air Max 2009 products are enough to keep you grinning from ear to ear. Irrespective of your area of expertise, there is a Nike shoe for everyone out there. Nike makes specialized nike free shoes for sports depending on the sport's requirements, like high ankle, better airmax heel cushion or flexible toes.The Nike Zoom Air is a thin material that provides cushioning inside the midsole of the shoe. Depending on the application this can be Air Max 90 segmented into the heel and toe, lay flat on the entire stretch of the air max shoe, or even just be present in the forefoot portion of the running shoe.Nike free 5.0developed this technology to provide cushioning while maintaining extreme responsiveness.
The dictionary defines the athletic shoe or sneaker as "a sports kobe shoes usually made of canvas and having soft rubber soles; also called tennis shoe." As today, uppers can be of leather, nylon, canvas, plastic, or combinations of these, Nike shoesand the shoe bottom surface has come to include any type of natural or synthetic rubber soles, tennis shoes are not equivalent to any other type of athletic shoe types. Sure, the term "tennis shoes" has become a generic term for athletic shoes, but this lebron shoes should not give the wrong impression to people that all sports shoes are the same or that one should wear them interchangeably regardless of the game/sport played. Running shoes on a tennis court, for example, are a sprained or broken ankle waiting to happen. Nike Free 7.0 Running shoes are built with a thick, soft heel to maximize cushioning for straight-forward, heel-to-toe foot impacts. Playing tennis is all about sudden starts and stops, as well as moving quickly from side to side. The trouble is that, during extreme stopping, Nike air maxcornering, and pivoting, if the sneaker's outsole is too rigid,Nike shoes the tennis player loses contact with the playing surface, which results in a loss of footing. In addition, since runners do not usually move sharply sideways, while "on the run," the running Nike Free shoe sole is totally unsuitable for the sideways movements a tennis player makes.When we talk about professional sports kobe shoes built with the latest technology, it's the Nike brand that often comes to one's mind. Especially if you are a basketball fan, then there is nothing to beat the Nike lebron shoesFoamposite shoes that are the ultimate make introduced with the best basketball technology.This collection is one of the most successful and popular designs in the basketball sports Nike shoes wear. The Foamposite One shoes were the first Nike Free 7.0 ones to be worn by the famous American basketball player, Penny Hardaway. After this, these shoes gained instant popularity and became the hot sellers with the basketball enthusiasts. With Nike air max the booming appreciation of this shoe's style and technology, Nike Free launched its next edition called Foamposite Pro, an advanced version in this series.
jordansbox
# jordansbox
Saturday, July 24, 2010 2:28 AM
In short, professional design mbt lami civiar black for your feet more comfortable.


Don't let it pass. If you are looking for the mbt tataga shoes , you have come to the right place.


??1223 new balance?? is very popular. Recently my friend and I always play them.


air jordan III as daily use and can afford it, this air jordan III shoes is a good choice.


Have a free trial of this ugg boots womens mayfaire.


I had buy many shoes from ugg sundance boots website, this web cheap price and good quality.


jordansbox
# jordansbox
Sunday, July 25, 2010 11:52 PM
A pair of algeria 2010 world cup jersey is essential to every people.


discount ugg boots ultra short is fashionable.


??marko marin germany world cup jersey?? is very popular. Recently my friend and I always play them.


I did run into someone who said cheap mbt chapa shoes she kept losing her balance while wearing them!


If you wear Stan Smith shoes .You can experience its comfort.


How can you find your favourite kobe i online? Some people could not get the very kobe i in the internet.


jordansbox
# jordansbox
Monday, July 26, 2010 2:25 AM
the newest and best Dunham 922 are cheap in our shop.


The supra vaider which have vegetate acknowledged as uptown, chin-up and wont looking position supra vaider


nike max tn can achieve the effect of weight loss??only this reason enough to attract women who want to slim down.


By now, the ugg matala thongs under sales promotion, they are so cheap online.


How can you find your favourite supra tk society gold silver online? Some people could not get the very supra tk society gold silver in the internet.


Have you heard of 2010 world cup jerseys mexico? it is good for you.


jordansbox
# jordansbox
Monday, July 26, 2010 2:26 AM
the newest and best Dunham 922 are cheap in our shop.


The supra vaider which have vegetate acknowledged as uptown, chin-up and wont looking position supra vaider


nike max tn can achieve the effect of weight loss??only this reason enough to attract women who want to slim down.


By now, the ugg matala thongs under sales promotion, they are so cheap online.


How can you find your favourite supra tk society gold silver online? Some people could not get the very supra tk society gold silver in the internet.


Have you heard of 2010 world cup jerseys mexico? it is good for you.


Post Comment

Only registered users may post comments.
Copyright (c) Talking About Politics   :  DNN Hosting  :  Terms Of Use  :  Privacy Statement