Your View: Ups and Downs - United Way; Arts Council; tax office

Mar. 08, 2013 @ 02:57 AM

THUMBS UP to United Way of Greater High Point and the generous folks in the High Point/Archdale/Trinity/Jamestown area for another successful fundraising campaign. UWGHP reported raising a total of $4,719,540, setting a record for the organization’s annual fundraising drives. The money is used to help fund the work of 29 partner agencies throughout the greater High Point area that strive to meet the human services needs of the community. Because of the support of local folks and dedication of its staff, UWGHP has for five of the past six years reported the best campaign results of the state’s larger metro area campaigns.

THUMBS UP to all those involved with — and especially those who have contributed to — efforts to raise funding for the High Point Area Arts Council to pay off loans obtained to purchase the Arts Council’s new facilities on South Centennial Street, known for now as Centennial Station.
The long-sought permanent home for an arts center cost $860,000, but local attorney Jim Morgan, who spearheaded the recent efforts to secure the Art Council’s new home, is seeking commitments for $1.6 million to pay for the building, make needed repairs and renovations, purchase equipment and to set up a maintenance fund.
Just over $241,000 has been raised, according to Morgan, and he has pledges for nearly $353,000. He’s also made two requests of $500,000 each, which would allow naming rights for those two entities. So far, major contributions include $100,000 from High Point University and $200,000 from Guilford County.
It had been a long time coming last year when it was announced that Centennial Station had been purchased to become the permanent home for the Arts Council and a community arts center. We’re highly optimistic that the funds needed to secure the future of the Arts Council and its new facility will be forthcoming before long.

THUMBS DOWN to the Guilford County Tax Department for waiting five years to send out bills for back taxes on personal property. County officials said a recent survey of tax records resulted in as many as 700 property owners — including several home furnishings showrooms in High Point and the High Point Market Authority office — receiving tax bills going back five years. Some recipients of the bills — Authority President Tom Conley, for instance — have questioned the accuracy of the bills. We question why the county tax office waited five years to take these steps. It seems such follow-up should be done annually to avoid generating confusion and questions.

THUMBS DOWN — again — to Gov. Pat McCrory for signing several bills into law in the old State Capitol building and not inviting the press to attend. McCrory signed four bills, two of which were controversial bills to exclude the state from parts of the federal health care overhaul and to block expansion of Medicaid. In our view, such actions should be taken in an open forum that allows the media to fully report the action to the public.