Tuesday, April 17, 2007

News round-up for the 10th

The Lenoir Topic-News has the sad story of the good life and recent death in Iraq of 29-year-old Granite Falls native Sgt Robby Bowman.

Let's always keep in mind the Robby Bowmans, his fellow fallen comrades, the injured, their families and friends, as well as the innocent citizens of Iraq. They are why we keep up this fight against the current American fiasco of an administration. This is what drives us to get political war-loving hacks like Pat McHenry out of office. May our work bring honor Robby Bowman and all the soldiers formerly and currently fighting in our names in Iraq and Afghanistan.

New Real Estate tax proposed

State Senate bill S1516 provides for county commissioners to have the option of levying a 1% land transfer tax through the referendum process.

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners loves the idea.
The property tax base is not growing fast enough to keep pace with the demands caused by the state’s rapidly growing population. As an example, North Carolina county Medicaid costs are increasing at nearly 10 percent annually, while the property tax base – the only source of revenue that county boards of commissioners have the authority to increase – is growing at less than 7.5 percent annually.
So who's against this? Well realtors for one.
“They’ve got their budgeting priorities out of whack.” – Tim Kent, executive vice president of the North Carolina Association of Realtors, on why counties are struggling to deal with the state’s rapid growth.
As always, be sure to let your legislators know what you think.

Mental Health hearing proposed for next week

As always, Screwy Hoolie at Scrutiny Hooligans has the latest on the state-created mental health funding disaster.

One-stop voting bill advances

Kudos to 10th district co-sponors Bob England, Cullie Tarleton, and Ray Warren (among others) who are sponsoring House Bill 91, that provides for in-person registration at absentee voting sites. How great is that? No excuses now. This is definitely for all of you great people who make thousands of GOTV calls, only to find out the person who would vote your way isn't registered and the deadline has passed.

Here's Andrew Jackson Democrats arguments for it:
an important step forward in opening up its elections to all eligible citizens.
Here's the Republicans arguments that the bill is dubious.
“Senate Bill 195 and House Bill 91 ‘proof of residency’ requirements are simply not enough to protect the integrity of our voting system. Potential voter fraud is a serious problem and needs to be addressed seriously,” says NCGOP Chairman Linda Daves.
Of course, the Republicans should know. They got burned in 04 when popular Catawba County Sheriff lost by 85 votes to political hack Patrick McHenry. At the time and since, McHenry has been repeatedly accused by his own kind of registering dozens of out-of-state Young Republican college students.

Potential lawsuit against the Google agreement

Jonathan Cox at the Raleigh News & Observer writes that Bob Orr of the NC Institute for Constitutional Law is investigating the option of suing the state for the perks given to Google for their plant in Caldwell County.
At issue is language approved by the General Assembly last year that excused Google from paying sales taxes on electricity and equipment. Because of the provision, the company, which in January agreed to build a data center in Caldwell County that could employ 210, could save as much as $90 million over three decades.
The institute had also sued over incentives given Dell in Winston-Salem. The suit was thrown out of superior court.
Orr, who is running for governor and plans to resign from the institute this month, said the suit will challenge the constitutionality of the exemption. He said the measure is illegal because it gave special treatment to one company, "which would seem to run counter to the fact that there be uniformity in the tax law." The suit could be filed by month's end, he said. Officials with the state Department of Commerce and attorney general's office declined to comment.

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