Sunday, April 26, 2009

Week in Review 4/20/09 - 4/25/09

This week I had the pleasure of participating in the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Day at the Capital.

The day began with a meeting of NFIB’s Leadership Committee – which I serve as a member. We discussed a number of issues pertaining to small business such as card check legislation and its impact on small business, as well as the NC Senate’s budget proposal.

The Senate’s budget proposal is a crock. They hype lowering the sales tax to 6% (a whopping .75% decrease) while at the same time levy a 6% tax on services – “non-professional services” that is. Legal and accounting services, as well as medical services will not be taxed. Considering how many lawyers there are in the senate this – unfortunately – is no surprise. Now I can agree with not taxing medical services considering how darn expensive medical care is these days, but the fact is we shouldn’t be taxing ANY services – we should focus on reducing state government spending. What a concept huh? The state is trying to make up a $500 million shortfall. Revenue neutral this isn’t.

To give you an idea how this new tax will affect YOU the consumer: let’s say your car needs a new engine (and I KNOW your getting it replaced at Frantz Automotive right???) ;-) Anyways. Say the labor is $1000.00 to replace. You will pay an additional $60.00 in labor taxes ON TOP OF the 6% in sales tax. Nice.

NFIB members also heard from Governor Beverly Purdue – who basically said she wanted to raise taxes “but now isn’t the right time”. She showed up 5 minutes prior to her speaking time then left immediately afterwards. Lt. Governor Walter Dalton (I love that name) spoke after Beverly Perdue followed by Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco. Keith definitely seemed the most “real” of the bunch, and being a former business owner himself actually spoke to what mattered to us – creating a business friendly environment in NC.

Wednesday evening was the annual Elected Officials Reception at the Mathews House in downtown Cary. This is always a fun event and a great opportunity to speak to and lobby our state officials. It was interesting however that NO state senate members were in attendance. I guess they figured they wouldn’t be too popular at a business event after their proposal to raise business taxes

Council’s Planning and Development Committee meeting was this week and the only discussion item on the agenda was consideration of FY 2010’s Community Development Block Grant Action Plan and 2010-2014 Consolidated Housing and Community Development Plan.

In order to remain in compliance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, the Town must update its Consolidated Housing and Community Development Plan every five years. The current 2005-2009 Consolidated Plan expires this year.

The Town of Cary is designated as an Entitlement Community by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is eligible to receive Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. For the past five years the Town of Cary has prepared an Annual Action Plan describing the projects the Town plans to undertake in each upcoming fiscal year. HUD’s projection for the amount the Town will receive for the next fiscal year is $450,746.

Proposals for the use of the FY 2010 CDBG funds were solicited from citizens, developers of affordable housing, nonprofit agencies and organizations and Town departments beginning in March. Nearly $1.7 million in proposals were received for the available $450,746 in funds.

While I compliment staff on all their hard work, I really wish council could have held a worksession on this issue. We had one last year. Before I decide on how to distribute nearly half a million dollars in CDBG funds I want more details than what you typically get in a staff report.

On Saturday I was delegate at the Republican Party’s 13th Congressional District Convention. Turnout was better than previous years as we had over 100 delegates in attendance. While a close race between David Williams and David Robinson, we elected David Robinson 13th District Chair. We also had the opportunity to hear from candidates for the NCGOP Chair’s race – including front runners Chad Adams and Tom Fetzer. While I respect Tom Fetzer greatly, I support Chad Adams for NCGOP Chair. I believe our party needs new leadership and fresh ideas – someone who an motivate and excite young people. I believe Chad Adams provides that leadership.

That’s about all for this week. Thanks for reading and thanks for allowing me the opportunity to serve you.