Halifax taxpayer unrest may lead to creating citizen group

Cairns says, “It’s inevitable”

ROANOKE RAPIDS – “Merchants are mad as hell,” said one car dealer describing the feelings by him and other businessmen toward Halifax County Commissioners having raised property taxes once again.

Whereas the word out of County Manager Charles Archer’s office is that taxes under his regime have been raised but once, many are telling the newspaper that raising the property tax rate per $100 valuation by $.085, coupled with not lowering the rate last year after a revaluation, is the same as raising taxes twice.

On the way back from a trip to New Hanover County where he was setting up a chapter, Brandon Arnold said in a cell phone interview Wednesday that he has plans to come to Halifax County within two weeks. Arnold serves as grassroots manager for Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), the successor group to North Carolina Taxpayers’ United.

Arnold indicated that he had already talked with one Roanoke Rapids citizens about a pattern of disregard by county commissioners that they spend tax monies conservatively.

Ordinarily, groups such as CSE are not aligned with any particular political party. Instead, such groups try to work closely with local citizens who feel they are being ignored by their elected officials and, if they can’t get the attention of such officials, CSE tries to have an influence in the next eleciton.

Proposal ignored

On the heels of having presented commissioners with a way for them to have raised the property tax rate but by $.03 per $100 valuation and them having ignored the proposals, David Cairns of Roanoke Rapids said he has received “tons of calls” from citizens from all over the county, including what he described as one ole-line Democrats in Scotland Neck “fed up with the current board.”

On page four of today’s paper, yet another letter appears, in which Cairns, retired manager of AirMold in Weldon, shares with readers the results of his study of recent actions by commissioners to address the situation of emergency management in the county, actions Cairns says are fraught with waste. Look for a meeting announcement in this paper soon.

Publication: Littleton Observer, “The Lake Paper”, printed with permissions

Original Release Date: July 13, 2000

By Line: Staff Writer; Contact lgaston@3rddoor.com for more information