A candidate for New Hanover County Commission says he has a way to balance the county's sagging budget. Jason Harris says his version of the budget does not take into account any tax increases and shares cuts across the entire budget.
Harris says he's attended all three county budget workshops. He urged other candidates to take the initiative to show their solutions to the budget deficit rather than just pointing out problems.
Wednesday New Hanover County Commissioners asked staff to come back with two possible budget proposals: one if the the sales tax does pass, and another if it doesn't. But Harris says he's gone through the budget line by line and believes he's found a fair solution that would make equal percentage cuts to all discretionary spending.
"I want to make sure that no one is doing more than their fair share of the cuts that New Hanover County needs in order to balance the budget," Harris said.
Harris said each of the candidates for County Commission should consider trying to create their own version of the budget. Harris is having his plans reviewed this weekend. He will present them Monday.
Another candidate for County Commission has come out criticizing the current Commission.
In response to the county's latest budget workshop Brian Berger said it's time to stop the cycle of taxing, spending, and taxing more. He says the current County Commissioners engaged "in a multi-year spending orgy."
"There are other programs that are nice to have and do add a lot to the area: museums, parks, those types of things," Berger said, "but in a time like this, if we need to make cuts that's where I would look."
Berger says current commissioners are suggesting the county would collapse without a tax increase, but that's not the case. He says there are plenty of places to cut in the budget as it stands now.
We want nothing more than to be fair. We welcome any County Commission candidate to send their budget ideas to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll share them with voters in the coming weeks.