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Posted Friday, May 30, 2014
Pittsboro,NC - On May 28, 2014, Chatham County Commissioners Walter Petty and Mike Cross attended County Assembly Day at the General Assembly in Raleigh, sponsored by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC). The key goals of the visit was to protect and restore lost lottery proceeds that help fund school facilities and to advocate for local control of environmental regulations.
During the event, Petty and Cross met with Chatham County’s representatives, Senator Valerie Foushee and Representative Robert Reives II to discuss key issues affecting Chatham County.
Petty and Cross reiterated points made in a February letter from Commissioner Vice Chair Brian Bock to a legislative committee urging local control of environmental regulations. The General Assembly has recently considered limiting the ability of local governments to adopt any regulations stricter than what the state requires for environmental protection.
Chatham County lost $3.2 million in lottery revenues over the past four years.
“One size does not fit all with environmental regulations. Local governments should have the power to do what they think is necessary to protect vital natural resources within their jurisdiction,” Petty said.
As to the lottery proceeds, each of the past four years the General Assembly reduced the percentage of money from the North Carolina Lottery that went back to counties to help with school capital needs (see chart below). As a result, Chatham County lost $3.2 million in lottery revenues over the past four years.
Commissioner Chairman Petty said, “These funds are critical as they help us pay debt service on school facility needs. This is our only remaining state-funded support of public school construction.”
Last year, the General Assembly repealed a statute that designated 40 percent of the lottery proceeds for counties to fund local school facilities and replaced it with language that makes sharing the proceeds with counties optional. This means that the legislators could decide to give no funding from lottery proceeds to counties for school facilities and spend the money on other education needs.
“Restoring the full share of lottery proceeds and the statutes that designate counties as a recipient of lottery funds is our top priority this session,” said NCACC Executive Director David F. Thompson. “We appreciate the support of the hundreds of commissioners who came to County Assembly Day and helped heighten awareness of this issue in the General Assembly.”
Lottery/ADM loss to counties since 2009-10 (Numbers in millions)
Year Lottery $ rec. 40% share Difference % of proceeds
2009-10 $147.2 $147.2 $0.0 40%
2010-11 $113.7 $176.5 $62.8 25.8%
2011-12 $100.0 $170.0 $70.0 23.5%
2012-13 $100.0 $176.5 $76.5 22.7%
2013-14 $100.0 $192.8 $92.8 20.7%