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Showing posts from January, 2017

The gift that keeps on giving: Are city taxpayers still paying for donation to Art Museum?

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City keeps moving $2 MM contribution forward; is mum on where the money’s going. By Roger McCredie
In June 2013 city council passed Asheville’s first significant tax increase since 1995.  The resulting revenue was to be used for what councilor Gordon Smith called “aspirational” projects, including road repair, parking deck construction, affordable housing …  and improvements to the Asheville Art Museum.
The art museum’s share of the proceeds was to be $2 million, a contribution amounting to one-third of the shortfall amount identified by Mayor Bellamy earlier that year.  It was to go towards the museum’s campaign, begun in 2006, to raise $24 million for extensive expansion and renovation of its space in the Pack Place Arts and Cultural Center.
Going Forward
But that didn’t happen right away. In fact it hasn’t happened at all yet.  Instead, although the tax was levied and collected -- and apparently is still being levied and collected --  the city’s $2 million present to the art museum has …

Debt and Taxes for 2.2 Miles and Greenways

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"Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." — Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789 When it comes to government, it's not death and taxes, it's DEBT and TAXES. The City of Asheville faces $110 million in capital improvements projects that will be financed through municipal debt which will be paid for by city taxpayers, adding to our tax rate and tax bills. With increases in city fees and charges for all services despite population growth that has remained steady, what is fueling our debt and taxes? As, mentioned in our last article, "How did Asheville become so indebted?" the City's capital improvement project budget saw a 148% increase in 2014. Analyzing the capital improvement projects before and after that time reveals the City's priorities, a 2.2 mile stretch of road for a project called RADTIP, New Belgi…