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NHC Commissioners develop legislative agenda

Representatives Rick Catlin, Susi Hamilton, Ted Davis and State Senator Thom Goolsby have asked officials from New Hanover and Brunswick Counties, the City of Wilmington, and surrounding beach towns for input as the General Assembly prepares to reconvene at the end of January.  New Hanover County Commissioners discussed their legislative agenda at Monday’s meeting, which will be delivered to state representatives by the end of this month. 

Some items the county is asking state leaders to address are predictable:  keeping an eye on coastal insurance rates, developing a better relationship with the Department of Transportation in pursuit of more innovative road design, and of course, shore stabilization – as federal funds continue to dry up on that front. 

But it’s tax reform that tops the agenda for a majority of Raleigh legislators, and County Manager Chris Coudriet says it’s important to take the uniqueness of the coastal economy into consideration. 

“We need to ask our legislative delegation to convince those who oversee that process that tax reform is probably not a one-size-fits-all model; particularly in coastal North Carolina, and perhaps in the mountains of North Carolina, where our economies are very different and perhaps there should be a broader base looking at revenue sources…”

The appetite for doing away with incentives in general is whetted in Raleigh, according to local leaders; however, both Republicans and Democrats from the coast say they support continuing film incentives and will work to convince their fellow legislators.   

At the end of this week, Commissioner Thomas Wolfe heads to a legislative agenda conference with commissioners from across the state.  

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.