Morehead City, N.C.
Oct. 9, 2020
TO THE EDITOR:
As the owner operator of Chick-fil-A in Morehead City I get a chance to speak to business owners from around the nation and I often tell them how blessed I am to live and work in Carteret County. It starts with outstanding people who share like values and give back to their community in a variety of ways. I tell them our way of life is unparalleled with the natural resources of the coast combined with a great business environment, the lowest tax rate in the state and outstanding public services, like our schools.
In the restaurant business every penny counts, so it isn’t surprising that when I heard about the two bonds that would appear on the ballot this year, I did a little re-search. I was so convinced that the contents of the bonds are needs, not wants, and bonds are the most cost-effective way of funding these projects, that I decided to make a concentrated effort to get that message out. I joined with a few other business leaders and formed a grassroots group we named Carteret Citizens Advocating Responsible Spending. As the name implies, we are a group of Carteret County citizens who want to insure our tax dollars are spent, or not spent, in a responsible manner.
The biggest reason I believe using bonds as the funding mechanism makes good sense is that tourists and second home owners will help foot the bill for these important projects. It is estimated that over half of the revenue will be generated by tourists and second home owners, most who own much of the high value homes on the coast. Here’s a real-world example of why this makes such good sense.
Let's say there's a family that owns an older home. They have needs for additional room and the roof, windows and HVAC have all exceeded their planned life and now repairs are piling up. They could try to pay for that all at once or they could get an equity loan and stretch the cost out over a few years a very low rate.
A bond is a similar financial mechanism that eases the burden on Carteret citizens and it is repaid by an increase in property tax of only a quarter of a penny or $22 per $100,000 of assessed property per year. (For the average Carteret County property owner, the bond will cost less than $50 per year.) The other bond is only a quarter of a penny added to the sales tax, which equates to 25 cents added to $100 in spending. Once again, it’s tourists which pay over half of our county’s sales tax.
And as for our homeowner example, imagine if your occasional house guests were to pay half the cost of your home renovations? Wouldn’t that be a great deal! That’s why I believe these bonds make good sense.
I would encourage citizens who want more information about our group and hopefully, join us in our grassroots effort to get the word out about this important choice on the ballot, to visit our website CarteretBonds2020.com or through social media at Face-book.comCarteretBonds2020 .
These bonds were supported unanimously by our Board of Commissioners, Board of Education and our State Representative Pat McElraft. These are elected officials with a long history of being excellent stewards of tax-payer dollars, including keeping our taxes the lowest out of all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. After looking at the particulars, I can see why these fiscally conservative elected officials sup-ported these bonds and I trust these people that have earned my trust.
There is so much attention being paid to the top of the ballot this year and rightfully so. How-ever, I urge citizens to please not forget about the final two items on the ballot, which are these two bond referendums. I hope you will vote for both of these bonds and join our effort to help spread the word. Hopefully, this citizen led effort will result in the passage of these cost-effective way to finance these important needs.
Remember, Bonds Make Good Sense.