The Tryon Downtown Associations Priorities Tax

Published 4:48 pm Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To the Editor:

Reading Fridays Tryon Daily Bulletin report on the towns proposal to impose a tax on township residents to help with downtown infrastructure sent me to the dictionary to reacquaint myself with the meaning of the term, infrastructure.

The word combines the prefix from Latin infra, meaning below, with structure, and is generally defined as a substructure or underlying foundation. Infrastructure is, in other words, the basic installations and facilities on which the functioning of a community depends, such as roads, sewers, power plants, transportation systems, etc.

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The Bulletin article explains, however, that revenue from this tax would be used for expenses such as events, streets and sidewalks. First, no one would dispute that streets are part of Tryons infrastructure and need to be kept in good condition. Likewise sidewalks. But, does the Tryon Town Council intend to use this tax revenue to build sidewalks where non exist now and are needed, or rather do they intend to tear out sound and functional sidewalks only to replace them with those spiffy brick and sectioned concrete walks, which the Tryon Downtown Development Association assures us will, along with the new street lamps, somehow transform downtown Tryon into a beehive of social buzz and commercial trade?

But the expense category that left me most puzzled is events. More explanation is needed here. Which events does the Tryon Council intend to fund using this tax money? And, what definition of the term infrastructure is council using to claim that spending events is an appropriate use?

Please, Tryon Council, if you are coming to township residents hat in hand, at least be forthright. In your pitch for this new tax, dont refer to it as if it would fund structures essential to the functioning of the town if that is not actually what is intended. Instead, perhaps name it for what it really is: The Tryon Downtown Development Associations Priorities Tax.

Nancy Schulz