Democrat Jonathan Barfield is seeking reelection for a third term on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. In the past six years, New Hanover County voters have approved bonds to fund improvements to the parks system, public schools, and Cape Fear Community College. To pay off that bond debt, the Republican incumbent who voted against the tax increase suggested dipping into the county’s fund balance, but Jonathan Barfield says that would jeopardize the county’s Triple-A bond rating:
"So, when the airport decides to expand, they can borrow based on our Triple A bond rating. When the hospital decides to expand, they can borrow on our Triple A bond rating, and that saves the taxpayers millions of dollars. When we first got our first Triple A bond rating, we actually refinanced a lot of our bonded debt, and [with] those refinances, we saved three, four million dollars just that quick over the life of the loan, which I think is being a good financial steward of the taxpayers’ resources."
Barfield says raising taxes is better than laying off county employees and cutting services, such as parks and libraries.