THE RANT: New Hanover Co. goes from "financially strong" in February to $1.8 million in the hole in April. How???

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) - Does anyone remember New Hanover County Commission Chairman Jonathan Barfield's State of the County speech back in February? The speech where he told everyone New Hanover is financially strong and prepared to tackle these uncertain times?

It's the same one where he thanked county residents for approving a sales tax increase in 2010 which he said helped the county improve local libraries, parks and museum.

And it's the same speech where he said one of the brightest spots this year was the county’s finances, which he said are healthier than expected. He said budget cuts, furlough days and a hiring freeze over the past two years had shaved expenses and helped the county save more than $4 million.

Fast forward only 60 days. That's only some 1,400 hours. And now Chairman Barfield says the county is almost $2 million in the hole! Why? He says the county's tax base is down and it's debt has increased.

And now Chairman Barfield wants to propose yet ANOTHER tax increase - this time a property tax increase of .55 cents.

Mr Barfield, can you please explain what happened over the past two months, where we went from "financially strong" to "let's raise taxes"? I think your constituents would like to know!

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Last fall there was a big deal made about cutting "earmark" spending in Washington. Those earmarks were a way to get funding for local government without raising property tax or sales tax. That particular "wasteful" spending is gone in Washington and so we are wondering why we have to cut at the local level or raise taxes. Blame is being put in all the wrong places about what is wasteful. There are three privately owned prisons that are being leased to the state of NC that were built a few years ago. This leasing from a private company is three times more expensive than if the prisons were actually owned by the state. This is draining money from education and we all wonder why public schools get worse.

Tax us some more while we can't sell our property and get out without losing $. Use some common sense spend less then what's coming in.

Why don't we just stop beating around the bush, and ask Harrah's to open a casino downtown near the convention center.

What would you rather have Wilmington?

A nice clean, well secured casino that in itself will bring people into town?

Or dank, smelly sweepstakes parlors, and underfunded public systems?

Look at Delaware for example. Three casinos make enough money for the state/education, that they don't charge sales tax, and property taxes are minuscule.

You wanna change this city? Then start making some changes....

People that win end up broke and on welfare. If the argument is that we are overtaxed and have plenty of money then why is education defunded? The implication here is corruption. This leads me to seriously doubt the logic that getting funding from gambling would actually fund education either.

If people have a nice clean well secured casino to visit on Saturday, there will not be any money left for the collection basket on Sunday.

Its called political mathematics. Two months ago he wasn't up for a raise.

WWAY, if you had any since of actual reporting instead of just going after people who don't talk to you bc you will just twist their words against them then you would see where Barfield is AGAINST raising taxes. Check the Starnews article and read his DIRECT QUOTE. Maybe when he said we were financially sound, he was basing numbers off of years past and not about the decrease in home values. I like the online stories that keep me coming back to your website.
Congratulations on your 5 awards in Sports and Weather. You truly are the TMZ of Wilmington

Hahaha pwwnnnnnnnnnnnnd!!!! No response? No surprise.

Guest15674 - thanks for taking the time to write and checking in on WWAYTV3.com.

I refer you back to the StarNews article you mentioned. Here's what Kevin Mauer wrote:

To offset the shortfall, the proposed budget recommends a .55-cent increase on the county's property tax rate.

"If we don't have a property tax increase, we're going to have to make some cuts," Barfield said.

Commissioners Ted Davis, Brian Berger, and Rick Catlin all said they would not support a tax increase.

http://watchdogs.blogs.starnewsonline.com/16436/watchdog-wake-up-county-...

I'm sorry you feel that holding our city and county leaders accountable for what they say and do is TMZ reporting.

Scott Pickey
WWAY News Director

WWAY NEWS DIRECTOR Scott,

I have never met you, but I hope to meet someday/somewhere, and I plan to shake your hand, BOTH OF THEM, pat you on the back and say:

"I commend you for a JOB WELL DONE!"

I quit watching the local news long ago because of the Fluff, and the silly newscasters giggling, and mumbling among themselves, and making personal comments about the stories they just read... on the other stations. The REAL stories were just not being reported. The cover ups were perpetuated by these same locals who were puppets to the politicians.

There were days (years ago) of a City Councilwoman that would have been great competition to the current County Elected official clowns, with all of her antics, but the news was shallow and slanted and hinted racism against her, when it was absolutely NOT.

As I have said before on this blog, KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!

Where is this clown from? You cannot keep taxing people. Good grief, once an idiot, always an idiot! Barfield, please resign and take Thompson with you.

...to threaten to drag out the "For Sale" sign for Airlie Gardens.

While that was meant to be funny, I think we really need to realize the economy is not going to bounce back quickly regardless of which political party is in power and maybe it is time to start trimming some non-essential services and resources.

There are other counties and cities in this country that have had to cut so much more than we have.

This GUY just makes me sick!!!

I no longer know WHAT to say. Everyday it's something else with this moron. And, I would not hesitate to tell him that to his face. (The other commissioner, you know, the spoiled brat, angry & mean muscle man radicalized nut case, who will beat me up ... is another story)!

We know what to do though!

I hope they didn't quit thier day jobs because I assure you, we won't forget their continuous utter stupidity the next time around.

HEY BARF~
YOU'RE OUTTA THERE MAN!!!!
Raise Taxes, like Obama.....are you INSANE?????...Geeeeezzzz!

Thompson... If he called me out....I'd oblige! PUNK!

I am a woman, so I will have to settle for fighting him with words until he slithers back under a rock for good.

He's the only VETERAN whom I have ever witnessed who does not conduct himself with honor and dignity, when conducting "the peoples" business.
I am NOT proud of his obnoxious behavior over the years, and unless he has TBI (traumatic brain injury), he should be ashamed. If he does, that would explain his arrogance.

the facts are there,he probably heard we were in a good sitiation,just like he heard about the gravely study!!!!!this guy gets dumber by the day.another tax increase plus the water and sewers problem with debt,whats next, are the gonna tax us to breath?lets please vote him out in the next election,if we can make it that long with him and biceps thompson in office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WWAY I TAKE MY HAT OFF TO YOU FOR REPORTING ON THIS IDIOT AND HIS PARTNER IN CRIME THOMPSON.WHY IS THE STAR NEWS AND WECT NOT REPORTING ON THIS.WAS IT NOT THOMPSONS IDEA ABOUT TRASH COMPANY THAT RAN OUT OF TOWN.KEEP THE HEAT ON THESE TWO THEY ARE BAD NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barfield forgot to take his shoes off so he could use his toes when counting the budget. He was just confused. Maybe he used the same "study" that he said was used for the Gravely spending.

WHUT! This would make our taxes like 1.10 per 100 dollars! ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FLIPPING MIND!? This would DOUBLE your property tax! PEOPLE..we better start remembering REALLY QUICK WHY the founding fathers and those around when this country was founded came here to begin with...TOO MANY TAXES and TOO MANY HIGH TAXES....Wanna know WHY our tax base is down? BECAUSE NHC IS ONE OF THE MOST EXPENSIVE COUNTIES TO LIVE IN! Residents are leaving to move into Pender and Brunswick counties! See...DemoWITS always think raising taxes is the answer...how about LOWER them, become FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE and I bet people will start migrating back!

It totally BAFFLED me how county citizens APPROVED a tax increase last time...I haven't understood that one YET! Barfield is an IDIOT...and ANYONE who voted for the last tax increase...needs to be dipped in honey and strapped to a tree in the swamp!

....Madison, Jefferson, Samuel Adams and others insisted on a Second Amendment...

....because sad to say, the day is coming when the voting booth will be used as the tool to destroy this nation. Democracy is wonderful until you give voting rights to the unqualified.

DON'T GET IT...think about it...You pay FOUR YEARLY TAXES just to drive a car!

-Tags
-County Tax
-Drivers License
-Inspection

Now some of those are "FEE's"..just a way to say HIDDEN TAX...if you pay it to the government...its a TAX!...PLUS you pay a sales tax when you buy the vehicle!

It's almost gotten to where that type of crap is happening with everything...I'm waiting on my well tax and a tax for every spigot I have. It's time to start taking back what is rightfully ours...OUR GOVERNMENT!!!

I love Thomas Jefferson...
"A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicity."

"...I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, but can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other."

Ben Franklin September 17, 1787 (Delivered on the final day of the Constitutional Convention)

Remember these?
Gasoline tax - highests in the southeast
Excise tax on tires
Disposal tax on tires
Environmental taxes on oil and coolant changes
Disposal taxes on oil and coolant changes
Bought a quart of oil lately? Try about 5 bucks!
Sales taxes on ALL of the above
These are just to mention a few...the list is never-ending!

I bought a gallon of oil for my old truck and it cost me almost $40 then it was another $6.59 for 1 additional quart!!

Taxes...

We pay taxes on our:

1) Wages
2) Tax returns
3) Groceries
4) EVERYTHING we buy
5) Home purchase
6) Land purchase
7) Car purchase
8) Annual taxes
9) Monthly taxes
10) Taxes on taxes which were taxed then given back to us only to be taxed AGAIN (refer back to #2)

How about we all just quit paying taxes that are used to pay ALL of these congressmen and women and ALL of these Senators $150,000 PLUS a year and decide for ourselves how our money should be spent. Just imaging how much money would be in everyone's savings accounts if all of that money Uncle Sam took from our paychecks each week went directly to our saving instead of some senators account??? Heck let the "Pork" that they all take (as if anyone believes them when they deny ever having taken any) pay for their annual salaries!!! They are already pushing the "Pork's" agenda, so why not make the "Pork" responsible for their Salaries??????

How many times do you citizens have to read news items on Barfield before you grasp that he is out for himself. County needs is so far away from his real agenda that if ever spoke the truth the world would come to a complete halt. You citizens that put him in office I hope you are pleased with his wanting to take over the school board, raise taxes, pay for Gravely type activities out of your resources and generally enrich his personal pocketbook. This guy has got to go and I pray that the citizens will wake up to this type Politician and throw him out in 2012. Don't and when you are paying more to live in New Hanover County you will remember you were warned as I move to Brunswick or Pender counties.