Richard Brand: Limited the power of city and county government

Some of us have this vision of a “well-rounded” community. There are parks, there are libraries, there are schools, there are recreation areas, there are places for music and the arts, and there are places for businesses and manufacturing.  It appears that the Republican legislators in North Carolina have eyes for only business. They have no interest in good schools and education. They have no interest in repairing crumbling bridges and roads, harbors, museums. They have no interest in helping the uninsured get health coverage or the unemployed get any benefits.  They only have eyes for businesses.

The most recent action in favor of business is to tell cities and counties in the state that they cannot charge businesses the fees and license costs that the cities and counties decide.  The power to set the fees and license costs has been limited by the state legislators.  Durham is claiming they will lose more than 2 million dollars.  In Henderson, an example of the problem is that the city has a very high fee for video gaming business. The business permit is much higher than the limit set by the state. The fees on each machine is a $l,000. per machine in addition to the license.  

So where does the city of Henderson and others have to go to get that lost income?  Either drastically cut services and programs in their communities or raise local property taxes. Businesses won’t have to pay but the burden will be put on local citizens to make up that loss of income.  At least, that is the way it looks to me.  

The Gypsies in the Palace in Raleigh, who have always claimed to want government to be as close to the people as possible, have now run roughshod over local governments. Taken Ashville’s water system away, taken Charlotte’s airport away, and now taken local communities authority to regulate businesses in their  own community. 

Richard Brand