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North Carolina Visitor Spending Rises

READ MORE: North Carolina Visitor Spending Rises
Despite the sluggish economy tourists spent more money in North Carolina than ever before. The North Carolina division of tourism reports that visitors spent a record 17 billion dollars in North Carolina last year. $426 million of that was spent in New Hanover County. That's up almost 10 percent from last year. Mayor Bill Saffo says the attractions in our area are one reason for the increase, but also that foreigners are visiting because of the weak American dollar. This increase in tourism means more money in our local economy. Kerry Green, a Wrightsville Beach tourist from Maryland, said “we definitely do shopping; there are some great little boutiques and restaurants. We like going down by the river and we like the little shops by the beach and we go out to dinner most nights." According to the North Carolina Division of Tourism travel and tourism has created almost 5,700 jobs in New Hanover County. Tourists have also generated more than $37 million in state and local taxes.

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Tourism dollars

"That's up almost 10 percent from last year." >Price increases due to higher fuel costs. "Mayor Bill Saffo says the attractions in our area are one reason for the increase,..." >And the attractions here are different than any other beach town how? "Tourists have also generated more than $37 million in state and local taxes." >And our local elected officials have hit us with another tax increase! Thanks Bill!

Higher Taxes Hitting Home

For a good while here in the Wilmington area, like in most places around the country, the economy was good. Plus the local government was riding on the past area tradition of conservative tax spending. Taxes were not an issue for most residents. Then several things happened. The economy went south, and the good, easy times started to fade. We also learned that developers who made their fortunes during our last real estate boom, did not pay for the things they should have, such as adequate sewer, water, roads, schools, etc. This was left for the future taxpayers, and that chicken has come home to roost. Then the conservative spending tradition was replaced by the "we need all this stuff" philosophy. So now the tax increases are finally hitting home. Let's STOP the waste, and projects we can not afford, like the Convention Center. Let's really watch our elected official who decide all the new Water Authority.

Berger only Anti-Tax Candidate

Of all the local candidates our only choices are incumbents who favor higher taxes and expensive projects like convention centers and handing out favors to developers with tax money. Brian Berger is the only candidate in New Hanover County who isn't bought by developers and there agenda of raising our taxes to pay for wasteful projects. Its sad that with three seats on the County Board up this year, only one isn't part of the higher taxes crowd. So I'll be casting my vote for Brian Berger and none of the incumbents who rip us off and lie to us. Everyone should vote for Berger and send a message to the good ole boys that raising our taxes and water bills has to stop. Go to and for heaven's sake, vote!