Politics & Government

August 9, 2014

Chamber may consider Meck sales tax referendum Monday

The executive committee of the Charlotte Chamber meets Monday and could discuss its stand on the referendum to raise Mecklenburg County’s sales tax rate by a quarter-cent.

Chamber may discuss stand on tax rate referendum

The executive committee of the Charlotte Chamber meets Monday and could discuss its stand on the referendum to raise Mecklenburg County’s sales tax rate by a quarter-cent.

County commissioners voted 5-4 in June to put the nonbinding referendum on the November ballot. Last week, the chamber issued a statement that didn’t support or oppose the measure.

Chamber officials did say they wouldn’t be funding and leading a campaign to get it passed – as historically the group has done for referendums.

But after the statement was released, they said the group’s executive committee could vote to endorse the referendum. North Carolina law prohibits language on the November ballot that states what revenues from the added taxes will go for.

But county commissioners passed a resolution specifying that: 80 percent would go to raising pay of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employees; 7.5 percent would be used for the same purpose for Central Piedmont Community College employees; another 7.5 percent will go to the Arts & Science Council; and 5 percent to public libraries. David Perlmutt

New poll puts Tillis ahead of Hagan in Senate race

GOP House Speaker Thom Tillis has regained the head-to-head lead over Democrat Sen. Kay Hagan in the race for North Carolina’s senate seat, but Libertarian candidate Sean Haugh continues to impact the election, according to a recent poll conducted by the Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank in Raleigh.

The poll found that Tillis was the choice for 45 percent of registered North Carolina voters, compared to Hagan’s 43 percent, when Tillis and Hagan were the only candidates voters were asked about. When Haugh was also presented as an option, the counts were 41 percent Hagan, 39 percent Tillis and 7 percent Haugh.

The poll used 600 voters and was conducted via phone in late July. A similar poll done at the end of June found Hagan with a slight lead, both head-to-head with Tillis and also when Haugh was included.

According to Civitas’s polling, Tillis last held a lead in May, when he was favored both head-to-head with Hagan and in the overall election. Support for Haugh has fluctuated between 6 and 10 percent over the last few months, according to Civitas.

Civitas’ polls are administered by New Jersey-based National Research Inc., with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Emma Baccellieri

Pittenger to host Matthews breakfast

U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger will host “Breakfast with the Congressman” on Monday from 8-9 a.m. at Jonathan’s Restaurant in Matthews.

Pittenger plans six town hall events through early September, according to a campaign spokesperson.

Jonathan’s Restaurant is at 10630 Independence Pointe Parkway near Target. Pittenger essentially won a second term when he easily beat Mike Steinberg in the 9th District Republican primary in May. Staff reports

Former judge receives Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Former Chief Judge John Martin of the North Carolina Court of Appeals was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Pat McCrory Tuesday. Martin stepped down from the role of chief judge Thursday after more than 10 years.

Martin, who is from Durham, received the award in front of family and friends, as well as members of the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

McCrory said Martin’s time in the Court of Appeals was one for the record books and urged anyone who has considered pursuing a career in law or government to use him as a role model. Martin served on the appellate court for 24 years.

“It wasn’t the length of time you spent here but the integrity that you showed,” McCrory said to Martin during the ceremony. “We need more public service like yours in the future.”

Martin resigned last week, more than a year shy of the 72-year-old cutoff for state judges. When asked about it after the ceremony, he said he felt that he did what he set out to do, and it was just time. The (Raleigh) News & Observer

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