Letter to the Editor: Wake up, Currituck!

Published 7:50 am Monday, April 1, 2024

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To the Editor:

Currituck residents are smart and well-educated. Even though many commute to high-paying jobs in the Norfolk area, they love having a quiet home, close to nature, in a county with low taxes, but good services. But recent shocking events are making them take a hard look at the quality of their county government.

First, the unexpected property tax hike, with more to come, to build more schools. The county permitted heavy development of new homes without preparing for the natural increase in population, including the impact on over-crowded schools.

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Second, the recent Appeals Court ruling that clearly states that the county has been using tens of millions of dollars of occupancy tax money in violation of the law. Twenty years ago, smart county management had the state increase occupancy tax to allow the county to better grow its beach tourism business. Instead the county used a significant portion of the funds illegally to balance its budget, rather than manage its service costs.

Third, there is the public in-fighting of county elected officials and senior staff over issues that have not been explained. They seem to be pointing fingers at each other rather than work together to solve the broad range of problems the county faces.

It’s time for county residents and property owners to pay attention, to get up-to-speed on the issues, to begin to understand the basics of our county’s economy and to demand that our elected officials and county management think ahead and make based decisions on the issues that affect our future.

Edward Cornet, PhD

Retired Professor, UNC Chapel Hill Business School