Letters to the Editor

Observer Forum: Letters to the editor 04.19.15

In response to “Hospitals fight open market proposal” (April 16):

Open market will hurt public hospitals

On the surface, liberalizing certificate-of-need laws would appear to increase competition and lower costs.

Unfortunately, in some states this has allowed “specialty hospitals” in orthopedics and cardiovascular services to open which only serve patients with insurance, placing a burden on public hospitals.

With the Affordable Care Act, hospitals are already having financial problems. Some rural hospitals, which are already under duress, could close because of federal mandates that increase administrative costs.

Additionally, more imaging and other services that duplicate existing services may increase, driving up costs.

This is a complicated issue that cannot be reduced to the simplicity of market forces in the current complex world of health care.

Dr. Thomas Nolan


In response to “New tensions emerge in billboard war” (April 17):

Bill raises questions about billboard industry’s influence

The smaller headline on the “Billboard Wars” article said: “N.C. billboard industry seeks more flexibility for outdoor advertising, including digital signs. Cities and environmentalists says changes go too far.”

A third group should have been referenced: “Legislators tell industry ‘Keep giving us money and you can write your own bill.’”

Harry Taylor


In response to “GOP leaders tout cuts on Tax Day’s eve” (April 15):

Do tell, senators, just who is paying less in N.C. taxes?

So, Sens. Phil Berger and Bob Rucho are pleased that most taxpayers are “paying less” in state income tax this year.

Then I’d like an explanation from them as to why my 2014 tax bill was $1,067 more than 2013.

My wife and I are both retired, living on retirement and Social Security, and have difficulty paying this much more.

Just who is it, Phil and Bob, that is paying less?

Hoyt McCachren


In response to “County property revaluations” (April 15):

Properties in middle- and low-income areas overvalued

The writer is president of Stikeleather Realty.

I agree with Realtor Jim Barnett who said “(Pearson’s) did a wonderful thing for the wealthy.”

I own many properties in low- and middle-income areas. Mecklenburg County and Pearson’s Appraisal Services have both appraised them much higher than market value.

I know the market value and handle my own property tax appeals. Most homeowners in these areas are ill-equipped to do that, nor can they afford to hire someone.

They have no choice but to accept the tax value.

These working folks are paying too much property tax. So are landlords in these areas.

Are the City and County really interested in affordable housing? If so, they don’t need to increase the property tax rate, but instead need to cut their budgets.

Rick Stikeleather


In response to “Lawmakers may drop tool to fight developers” (April 14):

Don’t eliminate public’s right to protest zoning matters

It’s simply wrong for N.C. lawmakers to even consider removing citizen access to protest petitions for zoning matters.

Having a resource, which has been around since the 1920s, removed to only favor developers without question adds to the problem of politicians’ pockets being padded.

Floyd Prophet


Thanks gyrocopter pilot for exposing security gaps

Although the stunt of landing a gyrocopter on the U.S. Capitol lawn will no doubt be a punishable offense, the man who did it has done our country a favor.

He exposed a vulnerability.

You can bet your bottom dollar that a solution to defend the U.S. against this type of attack will be found in short order.

Bill Brannon