The Center for Local Innovation
Friday, November 21, 2014
New Ideas Interview

photoSalisbury’s Fiber-Optic Cable System:

Another corporate welfare project paid for by average taxpayers

By Dr. Michael Sanera

The City of Salisbury recently decided to build a $30 million fiber-optic cable system that will offer Internet, phone, and television service to Salisbury residents and businesses. The city is paying for this system with 20-year bonds.

Who benefits? From the start, city officials have justified the investment by touting its economic development prospects. They hope it will bring in a younger, professional class as well as new businesses that require this type of service. If the city fails to attract the necessary number of subscribers, property taxpayers, many of whom cannot afford or do not need the system, will be left footing the bill for businesses.

Read more here »

photoCity and County Budget Crises: When in a hole, first stop digging

JLF report compares government revenues to inflation, population growth

RALEIGH - Nine of North Carolina's 30 largest cities increased government revenues by at least 20 percent more than inflation and population growth rates from 2002 to 2007. Thirty-three counties also compiled growth rates in excess of 20 percent, according to a new John Locke Foundation Policy Report.

"The current economic recession has left many North Carolina cities and counties strapped for money," said report co-author Joseph Coletti, JLF Fiscal Policy Analyst. "As economic activity declines, sales taxes, fees, and other revenue sources decline."

"Many city councils and county commissions are considering ways to increase taxes, a very bad idea during the recession," added co-author Dr. Michael Sanera, JLF Research Director and Local Government Analyst. "Others are asking the federal government to bail them out. Our report shows that many North Carolina cities and counties have only themselves to blame."

Read more here »

Headlines Opininos

10.27.11 - Edwards appears in court in Greensboro

8.03.11 - New Hanover trash proposal could put some haulers out of business

WILMINGTON — If New Hanover County’s proposed plan to consolidate trash collection into two zones is adopted, Anthony Marshall could be looking for a new job. The county has proposed plans to consolidate trash collection into a north and south zone. Each zone would have an exclusive trash collector responsible for the trash, curbside recycling, yard waste and bulky item pick up.

6.18.09 - Swain budget cuts target Sheriff’s office

BRYSON CITY-Swain County commissioners have opted to target one department rather than spreading out county budget cuts among all county employees. Commissioners have scrapped the idea for a mandatory one-week employee furlough, which they had initially seemed to support, and have instead proposed cutting three deputies and one secretary from the Sheriff’s office. It’s a move that could further the divide between commissioners and Sheriff Curtis Cochran, who is suing the county for allegedly paying him too little.

6.02.09 - Lessons in respect needed in Yadkin County

Respect appears to have lost its meaning and its rightful place in Yadkin County. Never has this been more evident than during recent county commissioners meetings. The situation has advanced well beyond shocking and surprising and has apparently become the accepted form of behavior by some county leaders. There is no evidence that Chairman Wagoner seeks to control this behavior, but disgracefully joins in with condescending and weak attempts at humor that only serve to increase his arrogant persona.

6.02.09 - Nature plays a role in economy

The next time somebody starts talking about economic development, remember that the face of the economy is changing. Once upon a time in the south, a town’s worth was measured in the number of textile mills it had. The economy and politics drove those jobs off shore and left us looking for something, anything, to replace them. What we might have forgotten is the role our natural resources play in our future.

6.02.09 - The long view - Economic health hinges on tax reform

As North Carolina nears the end of the 2008-09 fiscal year, the pressure on lawmakers to reach agreement on the new budget increases by the day. Many crucial decisions will be made this week, particularly in regard to the state's system of taxation, prompting several protests scheduled in Raleigh this week.

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