Letters to the editor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Not everyone is so skeptical of plan

It is misleading, to say the least, to refer to the tax-increment bond package for the N.C. Research Campus as a “public contribution,” a “public subsidy,” or public money for a “private investment.”

For the record, Mr. Murdock, I appreciate the private money you have already invested in our new public investment. I realize that the Research Campus is more than an office park and that you are not walking around Kannapolis with your hand out asking for money.

It was interesting that so little attention was given to State Sen. Fletcher Hartsell’s comment: “It’s being portrayed that Murdock is asking for more money,” Hartsell said. “These numbers have been generated by the city and their bond advisers on what they can realistically afford.”

From all of the numbers I’ve read, even a $160 million bond package won’t come close to matching the private investment made by Mr. Murdock for public infrastructure improvements.

The hesitation or skepticism from the public must come from a general misunderstanding of how the proposed bond package would work. I wish that Mr. Day would spend the same effort in educating the public on these bonds as he does “standing up to Mr. Murdock.”

The whole premise of these bonds is to permit the city to fund a portion of the infrastructure improvements related to the development of the Research Campus without raising property taxes. Further, self-financing bonds allow the city and the county to own and control the projects that are built with the bonds, as contrasted with traditional “tax rebate” programs which would simply give money to Castle & Cooke to use as they would like.

I am in favor of our city and county giving their fully committed financial support to the NCRC so we may all realize the full potential of our future.

— Lorna Felts


Cabarrus should support bonds

As a lifelong resident of Cabarrus County, I am concerned about the county’s current position related to the N.C. Research Campus.

It seems to me the county wants to use the additional tax money the NCRC generates in other parts of the county, not in Kannapolis. Last time I checked Kannapolis was in Cabarrus County.

Most of the money from the additional taxes generated from the NCRC should stay in the Kannapolis area. Yes, part could be targeted for education, health care, seniors, library, parks, new jail, etc.

Let’s compare two current local projects, the NCRC and Google. The NCRC project (3,000-20,000 jobs) wants $76-160 million in tax-increment financing bonds from the city and county, which would allocate additional tax revenue generated from the project to pay for the bonds for parks, infrastructure, etc. for a $1.5 billion dollar project.

The Google project (210 jobs) gets $4.5-4.8 million in incentives from the state and Google pays no business property taxes and only 20 percent real estate taxes to Lenoir and Caldwell County for 30 years (an estimated $95 million) for a $600 million project.

With a development like the NCRC, bond experts have shown there will be enough tax revenue generated to help pay for infrastructure, parks, etc. In the first year NCRC has seven universities, a community college, a medical facility, three biotech companies signed and 60 companies looking, and there are no buildings yet. Just think what will happen when buildings begin to open.

Faith is what I hope all of you have in God. Faith is what I hope you have in the NCRC. Why can’t Cabarrus County become the home of racing and research? It is time for the county to show its faith and participate 100 percent in the TIF bonds.

— Jo Stephens



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