Thursday, October 02, 2008


I’m incensed that Raleigh interests are meddling in Durham’s consideration of a proposed prepared food tax. Without questioning their motives, as Durham voters we just don’t need them to tell us how to vote.

Raleigh has had this tax since ’92. For a Raleigh resident to form and fund an organization called Durham Citizens Against The Food Tax seems insidious no matter who is “strapped to the front bumper.” While they have picked up the issue of regressivity, long disproven, there are still legitimate viewpoints on all sides. But Durham voters are perfectly able to sort through a full discussion of the issues without outsiders meddling and fogging the issues.

The discussion at the People’s Alliance resulting in that organization’s endorsement of the referendum is an excellent example of Durham’s ability for passionate, intelligent debate. But this Raleigh based so-called “Durham Citizens” group is betting that the news media will never have the resources to dig down and reveal it for what it is…or that even if it does, Durham voters will be so confused they will vote based on a smokescreen.

It reminds me of when Raleigh interests tried to steal the Bulls and move them to Raleigh (ironically intending to use Wake County’s meals tax which never did have voter approval). Significant Raleigh resources were deployed to help narrowly defeat a Durham bond issue to build a new stadium.

This type of interference from outside the community, especially from neighbors who are part of the Triangle family is arrogant, condescending and an insult to Durham residents.

Why shouldn’t Durham residents have the right to consider asking Raleigh residents working in Durham (3 out of 5 jobs are held by non-resident commuters) to shoulder a tax Raleigh has asked us to pay for the last 15 years when we dine out there.

Back off Raleigh. Last time I checked you don’t get to vote here.

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