Tax hike for arts? Voters be wary
In response to “A tax hike for the arts? There’s one big glitch” (Feb. 17 Editorial):
The writer is a John Locke Foundation senior fellow.
The Observer editorial board is right to feel queasy about giving county commissioners a new slush fund with tens of millions from a proposed Joseph quarterColetti cent sales
tax for the arts, but they underestimate how large the slush fund could be.
Regardless of promises made by county commissioners to use the $50 million for arts and affordable housing or anything else, their promises could quickly expire.
Voters in Buncombe County learned the hard way. In 2011, Buncombe voters narrowly approved a sales tax increase on the promise that funds would be spent on capital needs at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Instead, since 2013, Buncombe commissioners have siphoned more than $15 million (20 percent of tax receipts) into the county’s general fund.
Mecklenburg County voters should be spared the same fate.
– Joseph Coletti, Raleigh