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Current Board of Commissioners want to change rules so the land transfer tax can be imposed without voter input

By Brian Bock
Posted Monday, March 22, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC - Many are suffering a figurative hangover from the celebration that elected our current leadership. A growing majority realize that a mistake was made. The previous administration had been so vilified that voters overlooked flaws and swept the current leaders in. Even one-time supporters are seriously worried about the path we are on. Neither supporters nor detractors imagined that we would make such a dramatic shift to the left in such a short time.

In the blink of an eye, we have been put on a path to a future where government controls every aspect of our lives. There seems to be no area safe from governmental control.

Those who work hard and succeed are portrayed as greedy and quickly denounced. Rather than listen to citizens, the administration works to change the rules to ensure passage of its agenda. Our debt has skyrocketed; taxes are increasing to pay for policies supported by special interest groups, spending is completely out of control, unelected and unaccountable individuals (Tzars) have been hired with tremendous influence over policy decisions, and use of private property is subject to the whims of government officials.

As unemployment rates increase to unimaginable levels, the administration focuses on the affects of global warming. Rather than increase opportunities for all workers, our government has chosen a select group of industries to support at the expense of all others. The only area showing increased employment is the government. Buzz words such as “sustainable” and “green” are attached to every new and costly program in the hope that we will overlook the result. Dissenting or opposing viewpoints are dismissed.

The most worrisome aspect of the above description is that I’m not talking about the last presidential election. I’m talking about Chatham County.

The land transfer tax (LTT) was voted down by a 3 to 1 majority when put to the voters. Our BOC didn’t get the message. During their January 19th planning session they decided to seek permission from the state legislature to change the rules so the LTT could be imposed without voter input.

Since 2003 revenue to the county has increased 3X faster than our population. Unfortunately spending has increased by nearly 6X the rate of our population. Revenue isn’t our problem, spending is. A quick read of the 2010-2011 budget shows debt service is expected to increase 423% since 2007!

Blue collar jobs and industries are being shunned because they don’t meet the BOCs definition of “green” or “sustainable”, severely limiting work opportunities for our citizens. Overly burdensome regulation is putting Chatham at a comparative disadvantage to surrounding counties. Existing business can’t survive and new ones aren’t interested in opening. All the while, our Commissioners are discussing the refugees that may come to Chatham due to "Climate Change”.

If adopted as proposed, the major corridor ordinance will transfer 23,000 acres of private property to governmental control. A joint land-use commission with majority vote being given to Cary officials will decide how Chatham uses Chatham land in the eastern part of the county.

Just a few examples of Chatham Tzars include; a sustainable community’s director that will cost the county $180,000 this year alone. A new transportation director was added along with a human relations council director. These individuals have a disproportionate and inappropriate level of influence on county operations.

How many times do we have to learn that when government tries to micro-manage an economy, standards of living decrease.

All is not lost however; we can get on a new path if we get involved and pay closer attention to local politics. We can have a county that balances environmental concerns with needed infrastructure. We can stop spending on unnecessary pet projects. We can protect private property rights and we can create an environment that fosters job growth and job retention. A better future is possible if each of us would devote at least as much effort to local issues as we do national issues.

The local school board, sheriff, and board of commissioners have a greater impact on our daily lives than does the president. If you are eligible to vote in the primary on May 4, I urge you to do so. If you aren’t, then you must start now getting involved and learning about the issues to be a fully informed voter by November. Nothing less than our way of life and our liberty are at stake.

Brian Bock is a candidate for Chatham County Commissioner

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