Published: Feb 08, 2013 01:35 PM
Modified: Feb 08, 2013 01:36 PM
I’d like to comment on last Sunday’s commentary “Living on the edge: An ETJ resident’s perspective.”
Yes, Orange County residents, who live in the ETJ and enjoy Chapel Hill’s parks, library and community bus system contribute funding for these services by paying county property taxes. Those of us living in Chapel Hill pay the same county property tax – as well as a Chapel Hill property tax.
"Extrapolation of information on a recent Chapel Hill property tax bill shows the owner of an average priced home in Chapel Hill ($371,000) pays $143 for parks and rec, $55 for library, $146 for transportation and $287 for police.
A recent Capstone survey estimated 83 percent of bus riders are associated with UNC – only 10 percent of town tax-paying residents ride the bus to work. For every 10 property owner families (average 2.3 per household) paying $1,460 of Chapel Hill property tax spent on transportation, 2.3 members of these households use the free bus system for work – a subsidy of nearly $635 per Chapel Hill rider for work purposes. Since the bus system has limited night time service, only regular shift employees benefit from this subsidy.
Chapel Hill residents also partially fund the county Sheriff’s Office. Since Orange County doesn’t have police tax districts similar to county fire districts, the cost of the sheriff’s department serving those in the ETJ is funded by all county residents – not just by county residents outside of town limits.
Sales taxes generated by businesses in Chapel Hill are allocated back to governments in Orange County on a population basis. Since ETJ residents don’t count as Chapel Hill residents in this population allocation, only 25 percent of the sales taxes generated from Chapel Hill businesses are allocated to the Chapel Hill town budget – 62 percent of every sales tax dollar generated from Chapel Hill businesses are allocated by County Commissioners to the Orange County budget. In other words ETJ residents who add to the traffic in Chapel Hill by shopping here are helping themselves more by having revenue flow to the county budget – only 25 percent of these sales tax revenues fund the Chapel Hill parks, library and bus system.
Chapel Hill residents also have to deal with the traffic from those who live in the ETJ and send their children to city schools. We do not complain about traffic issues.
I think the Chapel Hill Town Council fully understands that Chapel Hill residents are in fact subsidizing municipal services for those who live outside town tax limits. They also realize, to keep some level of economic diversity in Chapel Hill, a lid must be kept on future property tax increases. Enacting new or higher user fees and approving new retail developments in or near the ETJ are just two of their tools to reduce subsidy for great municipal services enjoyed by both town residents and non-residents.Richard Leber Chapel HillKeep racquetball
My father is one of the devoted three times a week racquetball players at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA. He has been playing racquetball for over 30 years.
This superb team sport is popular throughout the U.S. Its health benefits are wide ranging in building strength, flexibility and increased coordination. The sport also has the added benefit of bringing people together with many diverse academic, social and economic backgrounds.
The idea of destroying the racquetball courts to gain more exercise equipment space at a huge cost is absurd and not well planned out. I’m sure the thought is that more of the “popular” exercise equipment will increase revenue.
Please re-evaluate the plan to eliminate the courts. There are options to expand elsewhere. Why leave a significant YMCA population of racquetball players without courts?Gayle Ostrom Lorton, Va.Remark offends
Chapel Hill has long enjoyed a reputation for being progressive. This is reflected in our voting patterns and our buying patterns. We shop at store like Whole Foods, whose store on Elliot Road attracts us each day with its progressive-friendly image.
Well, this past week, the curtain was pulled back on that image when CEO John Mackey, in an interview with PBS, compared the Affordable Care Act to “fascism.” He later apologized, stating that he underestimated the emotions that a term like fascism has in the United States. This of course, after years of right-wing talking heads use the term repeatedly in undercover racist smears of President Obama and anyone who supports policies like the Affordable Care Act. “Fascism” in its actual practice in the 20th century meant Jews, and intellectuals and civil servants of any culture, regardless of sex or age, being rounded up by German troops and forced to dig their own graves before being shot into those graves.
For the CEO of Whole Foods to throw this term around lightly like this truly shows how phony he and his store are. Chapel Hill residents should make their opinion of John Mackey’s critique of a law that extends the opportunity of health insurance to millions of Americans thus far denied it to “fascism” well known. The Food Lion is right across 15-501 and they sell many items available at Whole Foods, for nearly half the price. Chris Censullo Chapel Hill Misleading ad?
We applaud the Chapel Hill Town Council’s passage of a resolution on Jan. 14 to hold Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) in North Carolina to a standard of truth in advertising.
A 2010 study by the NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation found that CPCs in North Carolina routinely give medically inaccurate information about abortion and contraception to their clients. An advertisement for Pregnancy Support Services, a local CPC, appeared in UNC’s Tarheel Beginnings student planner in August 2012. It reads: “You had plans…A baby wasn’t one of them… We can help.” This suggests the organization offers pregnant women a comprehensive overview of their reproductive options. Pregnancy Support Services does not make referrals for abortion or birth control. Furthermore, the ad makes no mention of the organization’s religious affiliation. The director described it as a “Christian ministry” in a Jan. 14 article in The Daily Tar Heel.
Thousands of young women see this ad in the Tarheel Beginnings planners and will be misled. (It appears every two weeks in the planner). Our understanding is that UNC’s New Student and Parent Programs made the decision to include the ad. How do other parents – and especially students – think about getting a “free” planner that misleads students? The university should take responsibility for accepting ads that mislead students as they make decisions that will affect the rest of their lives.Sarah-Kathryn BryanAndrew Frost Chapel Hill
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