This site is about the overreaching political power of the NC Association of Realtors flush with money from cashing in your equity 6% at a time, leaving you to pay for growth with property taxes, year after year, with or without cash flow. In the last few years NCAR has pumped millions of dollars into NC political campaigns at the state and local level. They have spent millions more to defeat Local Options for Local Governments with misleading ads.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Blast Highlights Aging Infrastructure

An Associated Press story about this week's Manhattan explosion highlights the dangers of aging infrastructure. Just this Wednesday a large sinkhole caused by a 12-inch water main break in a Greensboro street swallowed a car and caused traffic headaches. Last week a sinkhole opened up in the middle of a Charlotte road. This follows another road closure in Charlotte the previous week due to a sinkhole caused by a water main break. While in June a parked SUV fell into a sinkhole in Shelby caused by a water main break.

It's a critical issue for North Carolina explored here: Report Paints Dark Picture of State's Infrastructure and here: Reality Check

Much of the state’s water and sewer systems date back 40 years or more and have exceeded useful life. Pipes of wood, cast iron and terra cotta have crumbled, and asbestos concrete used for water lines in the 1960s raises potential health concerns.
Get the report from Partnership for North Carolina's Future:
Reality Check
Read my previous coverage of the report issued by the North Carolina Section of the American Society of Engineers:
NC Infrastructure: C- Report Card
The North Carolina League Of Municipalities reviews why we cannot afford to let our infrastructure crumble:
Don't Let NC Crumble

Read the CNN story and see some video and photos of the infrastructure problem in New York this week:
N.Y. blast raises questions about aging infrastructure
NEW YORK (AP) -- With a blast that made skyscrapers tremble, an 83-year-old steam pipe sent a powerful message that the miles of tubes, wires and iron beneath New York and other U.S. cities are getting older and could become dangerously unstable.
From Boston to Los Angeles, a number of American cities are entering a middle age of sorts, and the infrastructure propping them up is showing signs of strain.
The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that it will take $1.6 trillion over the next five years to get the nation's roads, bridges, dams, water systems and airports into good condition.
New York Times Slideshow  |  CNN Slideshow
It's a problem the North Carolina Association of Realtors wants to ignore. It's a problem for which the North Carolina Association of Realtors offers no real solutions. North Carolina needs local revenue options to meet the needs of aging infrastructure because local governments are charged with fixing these problems. The North Carolina Association of Realtors should step out of the way and let our counties and cities get on with the job.

Many Realtors recognize the need for infrastructure investment but the organization representing them is fighting reality and our Senate in particular. Just as there are sane Realtors there are real Senators. The State Senate needs to give our counties the tools to do the job properly. Senators need to pass a budget that includes an option for all North Carolina counties to vote on using a transfer tax to deal with these problems.

The Wilmington StarNewsOnline gets it with a succinct editorial on the subject of transfer tax today: Which "home tax" will it be?
Now you know who most North Carolina state senators represent. It isn't property taxpayers.

If it were, a majority of the Honorables would let local voters decide whether to increase a tiny one-time tax on land sales to pay for the schools, sewers, water systems, law enforcement and other basic services that growth requires.

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