Category Archives: Politics

$15M of diverted revenue goes unaddressed in new A-B Tech tax deal with Buncombe County

a867e117-e14c-41bf-b3db-3b3ea7c4da16-ab_tech_tax_celebration

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College supporters cheer Nov. 8, 2011, after finding out voters narrowly passed the quarter-cent sales tax referendum. (Photo11: Citizen Times file)

(Asheville Citizen-Times) A deal passed in a split vote Tuesday night doesn’t seek to recover funding spent on what Chairman Brownie Newman called “frankly, poor decisions,” but it could move officials past a longstanding dispute over how to use money that was promised to fund new construction at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and nothing more.

That’s despite the fact that Buncombe County transferred more than $15 million of the revenue to its own coffers and later used the money to pay employees, including corrupt administrators Greene and Jon Creighton, and to fund operational needs long before commissioners voted to expand the use of the tax.

Newman and commissioners Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Amanda Edwards voted against the proposal Tuesday night.  Dissenting commissioners said the county should take more time to deliberate an official vote on the deal, which falls short of a $130 million plan for new construction that was pitched to voters during the 2011 referendum. They also acknowledged the handling of the tax has damaged relations between the county and A-B Tech — and the public.

Read the full report by Jennifer Bowman HERE>

Archive:

Voters were promised a sales tax would be for A-B Tech projects alone. That didn’t happen.

Advertisements

County used A-B Tech sales tax to pay salaries of corrupt officials

e4f13896-bc24-4501-8d0d-88cb0cce7be3-pjimage_2(Jennifer Bowman)  More than $400,000 of sales tax revenue that officials said would fund only new construction at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College instead was diverted to pay county employees, including corrupt administrators Wanda Greene and Jon Creighton.

Buncombe government also began using the revenue to pay for A-B Tech operations long before county commissioners decided to expand use of the tax.

Records released to the Citizen Times show none of the nearly $16 million transferred to the county’s own coffers was spent on capital projects. That amounts to about 20 percent of all revenue generated by the tax, a pot of money that community leaders promised would fund a $130 million building plan at A-B Tech when they pitched it to county voters almost eight years ago.

Read the full report by Jennifer Bowman HERE>

EXTRA COVERAGE:
Commissioners take up question of A-B Tech funding (Mountain XPress)