Joe Phelps and the Realtors

Last week the upstanding Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors* announced they were endorsing realtor Joe Phelps for at-large County Commissioner (as well as farmer Earl McKee in district 2). How in-depth was the research behind this endorsement? They didn't even look at the other candidates.

The association said neither Jacobs nor Broun approached them about an endorsement.

“If we had been, we would have met with them and listened to their views,” Zimmerman said.

Daily Tar Heel: "Realtor association at odds with Carrboro mayor over endorsement" April 21, 2010 

Today a friend let me know that Phelps has ads on WCHL stating that one of his opponents doesn't really support economic development, and the other opponent doesn't even grasp the concept. Both of these opponents are currently elected officials (and have been popularly re-elected).  I hardly think this is a fair or accurate statement. (WCHL, do you fact-check your ads?)

* This is a group that requires all local realtors to pay dues in order to access property listings, regardless of their opinions about local issues. And these are the same folks (The Independent Weekly called them "the sprawl lobby") who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to beat the county's proposed land transfer tax in 2008, while still insisting that people in Orange County 'just don't support it.'  I'll believe that when there's a fair discussion and vote on the issue.



OK, I just heard this ad myself. It uses several WCHL voice talents, so I guess I can consider them aware of the content. Tacky.

Maybe someone could ask Phelps to give an example of another county that successfully changed their ways and lowered taxes. We've heard this tune over and over again. We all want less of a tax burden, but we also understand community investment. Without specific strategies, Phelps is just a barking dog.

Growing our commercial tax base is unlikely, especially early on, to lower the residential property tax rate. Where it can have a significant impact -- hopefully within five years or so -- is to slow the pressure on residential property taxes to absorb the growing cost of locat government by providing another revenue source.  See this op-ed

 Based on this alternative framing of the issue, any number of more helpful questions can be posed. Mark, why don't you start the effort ...........

 allan rosen

There are serious discussions going on about sustainable economic development in the EDD's (Economic Development Districts). My initial question is still valid. We are not alone in the universe. Where has targeted economic development lowered the tax rate and what were the ramifications? Phelps tossing out fantasy scenarios (and he is certainly not alone) without back-up info is so much masturbation.

I knew nothing about Phelps until I heard the WCHL ads - enough to turn me off right there.  Now I've gotten no fewer than 3 robocalls for/from him.  Nope.  And nope.


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