A bill to redistribute sales tax revenues recently took a blow in the North Carolina House of Representatives and now sits in a House-Senate conference committee.  WHQR spoke with some representatives of local rural counties to see what’s next for this proposal and how it would affect their constituents. 

As it stands now, 75 percent of sales tax goes to the county where goods are sold.  A quarter of the tax is distributed based on population.

Cape Fear Community College

Since the ouster of former president Ted Spring early this year, public interest in the financial workings of Cape Fear Community College has spiked.  At least one local news organization, WECT, has been doggedly pursuing the details of performers’ contracts signed with CFCC’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center – which kicks off its inaugural season this fall.  

The North Carolina State Auditor’s office recently released an investigative report examining Cape Fear Community College’s finances.  This came after months of media scrutiny and the sudden resignation of the College President during a January Board meeting. 

While the spending of government officials is still under a microscope, locally and nationally, investigations are also ramping up at the state level. 

In the above audio file, clips from the following candidate forums are included to illustrate the range of races -- and not the scope of candidates' answers to questions.



City of Wilmington

Laura Padgett is poised to leave behind more than 20 years of public service.  She was first elected to Council in 1993. After five terms, she has decided against seeking a sixth and will step down at the end of the year.

While the North Carolina General Assembly tries to hammer out a budget in Raleigh, counties around the state are scrambling to consider what a sales tax redistribution could mean for their own bottom lines.  Members of New Hanover County’s Executive Staff are bracing for what could be a significant blow.

For most residents in the Cape Fear region, a daily bus ride is not a typical part of the day.  There are significantly more people who drive their own vehicles than those who opt for public transportation.  There are some choice riders, but most of the people who use WAVE Transit on a regular basis use it because they need it.

Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

As the North Carolina legislature tries to wrap up its summer session, subsidies for renewable energy are on the chopping block. The state’s hog farming industry could be affected if the subsidies are removed.  

Right now, North Carolina state law says utilities have to produce at least 6% of their energy from renewable sources.  The law also requires that percentage to climb to a peak of 12.5% by 2021.  In order to meet these standards, the state subsidizes the effort. 

Bluedisk / English Wikipedia

Counties across North Carolina could soon be required to cover the entire cost of recycling electronics.  It's just one provision in the Regulatory Reform Act of 2015 that could create an unplanned hole in the budget for New Hanover County’s Department of Environmental Management.

How often have you wondered whether to toss a soda bottle into the recycling bin with or without the cap?  Do you rinse out food containers before you recycle them?  And what do you do with all those plastic grocery bags?