Reader letters, April 10

Apr 09, 2013

Buncombe tax is 4 percent

To the editor:

Inaccurate numbers have been quoted concerning Buncombe occupancy tax.

Lodging facilities within Buncombe County with 5 or more units available for rental must pay a 4 percent occupancy tax.

This occupancy tax is in addition to state and local sales tax, and is based on gross room sales.

This number has been used as an excuse to raise our tax to 6 percent to, “Keep up with surrounding areas — lest we lose positioning.”

These facts do not support raising the tax in Haywood County; but instead support keeping it at no higher than 4 percent.

Lynda Bennett

Maggie Valley


Editor’s note: Lynn Collins, executive director of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, who also received a copy of this letter, provided this response.“The TDA has only talked about the Buncombe County TDA having a Tourism Product Development Fund and what types of projects have been funded through the TPD fund.  We are aware and have always said that Buncombe County collects 4 percent occupancy tax.”


Great article on school program

To the editor:

Caroline Klapper’s article on The Leader in Me in Monday’s paper is the most exciting and encouraging article I have read for a long time. Thank you for giving it front-page coverage.

Principal Savage and teachers at Hazelwood Elementary  should be supported and encouraged by our entire community for their forward-looking plan for the young people in their school.

Aside from the regular basic course of reading, writing and arithmetic, this program would be more valuable to the future lives of y oung people than anything else they could do.

Their training would pay dividends for generations to come and would enhance the lives of the students involved and their families and associates beyond imagination.

Most citizens never have the benefit of this type of training. Our community will benefit beyond belieffrom this type of outstanding plans among our educators.

Arnold Howell



Great job on anniversary book

To the editor

Thank you and congratulations on your publication: “Celebrating 100 Years — Lake Junaluska.” It is so well done, so accurate and so appropriate. It is truly a “keeper.”

Lake Junaluska Assembly and Haywood County have enjoyed a partnership for over a century. Each has been good for the other. It is fitting that the two should join together in celebrating this very special anniversary. This is the beginning of a very special time for all of us.

Bill Lowry

Lake Junaluska

Courthouse is now lifeless

To the editor:

Well, well, well. The commissioners have finally accomplished making the Courthouse look like that atrocious Justice Center. How sad.

Anyone who believes that more trees are going to be planted believes in the tooth fairy. I have always thought that the Courthouse was one of Waynesville’s best accomplishments. Not anymore.

It has no life to it.

It’s amazing how nature brings everything to life.

Jo Ann Swofford

Upper Crabtree


Annexation is a free handout to lake residents

To the editor:

We are all applauding, cheering —  annexing Lake Junaluska will automatically raise property taxes. Let’s have a party down on the courthouse lawn, which is now itself a truly ugly thing.

Never in the history of North Carolina has annexation worked well. Property taxes always go up. And to what benefit? Yes, benefit to the Assembly for grossly mismanaging their finances.

They can only see this as manna from heaven. Be assured there was a back room deal behind this. Otherwise how does a small group of people, religion-based to boot, grossly ignore their responsibilities, and windup needing millions of dollars for failing to maintain their infrastructure?

While ignoring infrastructure, the Assembly put a great deal of money into buildings, landscaping, and staff. They should be forced into bankruptcy, liquidating assets just like any other organization.

Instead they are apparently going to receive a free handout short of any lawsuit to block this misappropriation. If only my personal finances worked so smoothly.

Actions by city/county officials in this “taxpayer dollars for our friends” scam will be answered at the ballot box.

The perception is that some local officials are benefiting financially and/or politically from this free hand-out, which seems the normal run-of-the-mill corruption we are so accustomed to witnessing. There is also the question of public funds going to a religious organization.

Many laws address this issue, and will bring additional problems and taxpayer expense later.

It is very hard to understand why local politicians embrace decisions that will surely push them out of office. Do they think no one is paying attention?

Do they think they won’t be held accountable? As an outsider, living here nearly 20 years, I don’t understand how such foolishness goes unchecked while there are critical shortages of money especially for teachers, the school system, followed by a long list of other priorities.

It is considered bad manners, lacking compassion, to point out people who aren’t very bright, but do we need to elect them?

Apparently the dummies and corrupt are running the show.

John Buckley



(Editor’s note: The property directly owned by Lake Junaluska Assembly is not part of the annexation. The boundaries apply only to the homes surrounding the lake property.)

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