Reader letters April 19

Apr 18, 2017

Income Taxes in the rear view mirror

To the editor:

Once again, the dragons have been fed.  The season for filing federal and North Carolina income taxes is over for the vast majority of citizens.  Most people agree that tax filing is unnecessarily complex and even intimidating.  Over the past three months, under the auspices of the AARP Foundation, volunteers in Haywood county have been assisting their friends and neighbors in preparing and filing income taxes. This service is at no charge to the taxpayer.

The Haywood County arm of TAX AIDE filed over 600 federal and North Carolina returns in 2016, operating from the HART Theater.

We are indebted to Steve Lloyd for the use of the theater and for all the equipment necessary to greet, process and assist our neighbors. When the number of joint returns are considered, as well as a significant number of people whom we could not assist directly, the TAX AIDE program was helpful to over 1,000 people in Haywood and surrounding counties.

As was the case for 2015, once again the tax preparers were assisted greatly by the navigators from Mountain Projects, who handled the increasingly complex issues arising from the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  We have been surprised that the somewhat intrusive questioning about heathcare insurance has been met with general acceptance by our clients.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the service provided by Bruce Johnson at the Senior Resource Center, to whom we refer quite a number of people who seek our assistance but who fall outside our scope of work.

Finally, without providing a list of names, I want to thank the team that makes up Haywood County TAX AIDE for their ability, faithfulness, sense of humor and overall esprit that makes what could be a tedious and tiresome exercise so much fun. And finally, a big thank you to the Mountaineer for helping us inform the Haywood county public to this service.

Marshall Casse

Local Coordinator Haywood County TAX AIDE

A program of the AARP Foundation


Assistance appreciated

To the editor:

Canton Wesleyan Church, on behalf of all those in attendance, wants to express our deep appreciation to the Canton Police Department for their escorting of the many who participated in the Stations of the Cross on Friday.

Said Betty Jo Coleman, “We couldn’t do this walk safely if it weren’t for the Canton Police officers.”

The police provide a safe walk for the folks that move from one location to the next while reflecting on various parts of Jesus’ journey during His last hours before His crucifixion.

David Vos

Canton Wesleyan Church

Insist on equal rights

To the editor:

I’m writing to share information about the Equal Rights Amendment bills currently being evaluated by the NCGA: Senate Bill 85 and House Bill 102.

We the citizens need to contact the respective rules committees and our representatives and tell them to support these two bills and put them to a vote.

These bills must be voted on before April 26 or they disappear, so please call the following legislators right away: Speaker of the House Tim Moore 919-733-3451; Senate Leader Phil Berger 919-733-5708; Senate Rules Chair Bill Rabon 919-733-5963; and House Chair David Lewis 919-897-8100.

Also, please contact the other representatives and solicit their support for SB85 and HB102. Insist politely, firmly, and calmly that they support and vote for the ERA to ensure equal rights for women and men.

The ERA amendment is powerful in its simplicity: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” But an amendment to the U.S. Constitution is far more than those few words.

It enshrines a national value that can’t be eliminated by legislatures or curtailed by courts. We need to move North Carolina into the 21st century by showing equality for all of us. By enacting these bills, we—and our legislators—can make a progressive, positive, and important statement about who we are and who we can be. Let’s proudly be the next state to ratify and send the ERA amendment to Congress to codify it in the U.S. Constitution. It is time and it is right.

Bill Lusto


Thanks Canton

To the editor:

Thanks, Town of Canton, for allowing a group of folks from several churches to quietly carry a wooden cross through downtown Canton, stopping at certain places to read scripture, on Good Friday.

We were not protesting; rather we were proclaiming and sharing our Christian faith.  In this increasing world of secularism you are a beacon.

Thanks also to the Canton police for escorting us and to all those people who respectfully stopped their vehicles as we passed by.  Christ is risen indeed.

Torpy Skinner