Funding Our Bubble

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  1. Bonnie Hauser

     /  March 20, 2017

    Real issues; real impacts.

  2. Bart

     /  March 21, 2017

    Even with people across the country chipping in to support our values (ironic since Chapel Hill has so often pontificated on issues in other places) we have high local taxes.

    So, can we please re-examine the notion that local taxpayers may have to pick up the slack? I realize the image of Chapel Hill – externally and apparently internally as well – is of a bunch of rich white folks who just want to keep our privelege.

    While there is some truth in that image, there are also a lot of people who don’t fit that picture at all – including white folks. Making local taxes even more regressive doesn’t make sense to me. Having a big mortgage is not an indicator of wealth and I have run into “house poor” people here.

    What data shoes council use to determine the wealth of citizens? Surely not property taxes.

  3. bart

     /  March 21, 2017

    What data DOES council use to determine the wealth of citizens?

    Sorry for the ridiculous typo.

    I’m wondering if a significant part of the town doesn’t spend an outsized amount of their income on mortgages. I realize we’ve talked about the rent situation (similar), but people can “qualify” for mortgages that take a significant bite of income.

    Buying an expensive home can make a family look affluent even if it takes half the income to do it.

    Any ideas?

  4. Nancy

     /  March 21, 2017

    I’m not advocating for raising taxes, only pointing out that we have to pay for the services we deem important. I just got back from talking to some students at McDougle Elementary School, and they grasped the notion of having to decide how you were going to spend a fixed amount of money: deciding what is most important to you, separating your own personal preferences from what is in the best interest of everyone in the group, and finding other ways of affording the things you want if you don’t have enough to cover everything at once. Would that all of the voters understood that reality.

  5. plurimus

     /  March 22, 2017

    The TC and County government as elected officials are responsible for identifying what we the voters deem important. I think because we are a relatively well off town and county, the process has in the past been somewhat ad hoc.

    I do worry about this “greater good” argument because the down side always seems to fall disproportionately on under represented groups. We seem to have a spotty history recognizing when the harm to the affected persons exceeds the benefits to the community. IMO we need a more formalized process with more rigorous criteria for examining options.

    Along the same lines, I also dislike the fact that a mostly transient student population can and does skew results that should be decided by the people that are left paying for it. I fear there are some elements in the town that use this feature to promote an ideology or agenda rather than fairness.

    Deciding what is most important to you can get tangled up with confirmation bias, ideology and self delusion. I hope part of the lesson is learning from consequences and critical thinking outside the “bubble”.

  6. plurimus

     /  March 26, 2017

    BTW have you read HB436?