Arts + Entertainment

sylvaAs Sylva’s leaders work toward a new budget for the new fiscal year, there’s one big question on everybody’s mind — how much will taxes increase?

taxesSales tax in Jackson County could rise to 7 percent if voters approve a referendum vote that would add a quarter cent to the existing sales tax to help get the county’s K-12 and community college facilities back in shape.

jacksonJackson County Commissioners will vote this week on whether to approve a referendum vote for a quarter-cent sales tax increase to appear on the June 7 ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives primary.

fr taxrevalSome Jackson County property owners might find themselves doing a doubletake when notice of their updated property value comes in the mail next week.

schoolsSchool systems across the mountains are signing on to a lawsuit against the state to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars that they say were improperly diverted from public school coffers.

fr jaxtaxesThe yardstick Jackson County will use to calculate property values next year is up for discussion at a public hearing 5:40 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Jackson County Administration Building.

haywoodA recycling sorting plant proposed in Haywood County has encountered a hitch following an 11th-hour revelation that it would be exempt from paying county property taxes.

op frJust a few more dollars, that’s all. When you get your car fixed or a new dishwasher installed, now you’ll have to pay the 7 percent sales tax on the labor provided by the mechanic or the repairman. As you pay, give a nod to the state legislature’s decision to tax a few more services as part of its ongoing reform that moves North Carolina further toward a reliance on consumption taxes versus income taxes.

A new ranking released this week by WalletHub pegs North Carolina as the 50th worst place in the country for public school teachers. We managed to beat out West Virginia but have been passed by economic powerhouses like Mississippi and Washington, D.C. (there were 51 spots, including D.C.) The ranking is based on median starting salary, pupil-to-teacher ratio and per pupil spending. Our 50th spot was — you guessed it — up one spot from last year.

op frThe North Carolina Senate has become emboldened in its partisanship over the last couple of years, and there appears to be no end in sight. Under the leadership of Sen. Phil Berger, the president pro tem, and his troops — including our own Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin — it has ventured so far to the right and is making moves that are so politically heavy-handed that even Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and the GOP-controlled state House often call foul.

brysoncitySwain County Board of Commissioners approved a $14 million budget last week with little discussion or debate. 

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Reading Room

  • A strange mix of books crosses my desk
    A strange mix of books crosses my desk The first weeks of 2018 have seen some offbeat books shamble across my desk and into my fingers. First up is John Buchan’s Mr. Standfast, also known as Mr. Steadfast. Buchan, a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada from 1935…
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