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What the ad says

IMAGES: Footage of McCrory speaking at the 2004 Republican National Convention, portraits of President Bush and McCrory and a fake postcard saying “Welcome to Charlotte! The city of high taxes!” It begins with McCrory telling the convention: “Cities large and small will benefit by having President Bush leading us for another four years.”

AUDIO: “Pat McCrory supported George Bush's policies that favor the wealthy and helped create this economic crisis. Charlotte now has the highest tax burden of any North Carolina city and as Mayor McCrory took a pay raise for himself but opposed raising the minimum wage. Pat McCrory, stop siding with George Bush, support tax breaks for middle-class families.”

What the record shows

McCRORY AND BUSH: In 2000, McCrory was elected president of Republican Mayors and Local Officials. In May 2003, a news release by the group quoted McCrory praising a Bush proposal to cut dividends and capital gains taxes.

A study by the Congressional Budget Office found that the cuts reduced tax rates for people in every income level, but cut rates the most for the highest earners.

At the 2004 GOP convention, McCrory praised the tax cuts and programs to increase homeownership.

CHARLOTTE TAXES: The ad cites a study released in January by the John Locke Foundation's Center for Local Innovation that said Charlotte has the highest combined county and municipal tax burden of N.C. cities and towns with more than 25,000 residents.

The study looked at combined city and county rates, however.

Charlotte's property tax rate is in the middle of other major cities in the state. Over the past 10 years, Charlotte raised the property tax once. McCrory vetoed the increase, but the Democratic majority on the City Council overrode it.

PAY RAISES: As mayor of Charlotte since 1996, McCrory's salary and expenses have risen from $24,800 to $39,900.

The Charlotte mayor does not typically vote on the city budget, which includes pay raises, but he can veto it.

In 1998, McCrory broke a tie, voting with the City Council's Republicans to overturn a pay raise for city leaders that would have boosted his own salary by several thousand dollars.

This year, the council approved a pay raise for members and the mayor. McCrory did not vote or veto the budget.

MINIMUM WAGE: McCrory's campaign says he does not completely oppose the minimum wage, but there is evidence that he's not a big fan, either.

According to campaign manager Richard Hudson, McCrory supports raising the state's minimum wage, but only if it is coupled with tax breaks for small businesses or tied to increases in the cost of living.

But McCrory told the Asheville Citizen-Times before the Republican primary that he would “probably oppose” a minimum wage increase because it could cost jobs.

Is the ad accurate?

The ad's claims go beyond the facts that support it. McCrory supported the Bush tax cuts, but it's tenuous to connect them to the foreclosure crisis and problems on Wall Street. The claim that Charlotte has the highest taxes is inaccurate, and the ad overstates McCrory's position on pay raises and the minimum wage

Ryan Teague Beckwith, (Raleigh) News & Observer
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