Monkey Business Report: Truth in campaign advertising edition

The Lexo-McInnis NC Senate primary race has been a wild and woolly one thus far.  The primary race down here between state Rep. Jamie Boles and challenger Ken Byrd is starting to heat up.

We all got treated to a mailer this week from Boles accusing Byrd of “flocking to tax increases.”  The mailer accuses Byrd, an Aberdeen town councilman, of voting for a 4 cent tax hike and a 5% increase in water and sewer fees.

Well, we did some checking and — of course — there is more to the story.  In April 2016, it appears the Town of Aberdeen was having some serious budget issues. 

Staff presented the council with four options on how to deal with these issues.

Option 1:  Start off  $1.2 mil in the hole.  Do some budgetary trimming.  No tax increases or borrowing. And the town ends up roughly a quarter-mil in the hole.

Option 2: Still starting off $1.2 million in the hole.  Cut some spending. Add in a 2-cent tax increase, then borrow some money, shift around some of the fund balance, and they end up $138 in the black.

 Option 3: Still starting off over  $1 million in the red.  Cut some spending, shift some fund balance money around, borrow some money and add in a 3-cent tax increase.  That leaves the town $23,449 in the hole when all is said and done.

Option 4:  Still starting off deep in the hole. Cut some spending. Add in a 4 cent tax increase.  Borrow some money and shift around some fund balance, and you get a balanced budget. 
Rep. Boles told you about a 4 cent increase.  He neglected to mention  that Byrd actually voted for a balanced budget. Balanced government budgets are required by law in North Carolina.

Speaking of tax increases.  According to the General Assembly website, Boles sponsored TWO tax increase bills in 2015-2016:  one for the city of Sanford, and one for Moore County.

Again, speaking of voting to take more money out of our pockets.  Boles voted FOR Competitive Energy Solutions for NC (HB589) in 2017.  This bill kept alternative energy (solar, wind, etc.) mandates and subsidies alive and well in North Carolina.  Lobbyists poured a lot of money into legislators’ pockets to get this bill passed — which has caused our power bills to go up and will continue to do so.
On the campaign trail, Byrd has criticized Boles for introducing bills that benefit his business.  Boles has countered by  suggesting that industry leaders come to him because he knows the funeral business.
Curiously, Boles introduced H422 in 2015-2016.  The bill specifically grants immunity to funeral directors and funeral home owners regarding traffic accidents during funeral processions.  Introducing a bill that provides a direct benefit to him.

*You gotta LOVE public service* ….