The Buncombe County Commissioners have announced their intent to launch a reval, which will go into effect in 2013. Now, even I have an inkling about what has happened to real estate values, and I’m supposing the commissioners will compensate by raising the tax rate. Now, a number of fiscally-conservative movers and shakers in Buncombe County have shown they can turn a $2000 expenditure by the commissioners into a hot-button issue. What will they do about a double-digit percentage increase in the tax rate, even if the product of valuation and tax rate don’t, on average, change a whole lot? Incidentally, Jerry Rice is about the only person who ever complains about hundreds of thousands routinely rolling into weird causes via the consent agenda.

Speaking of which, I had a friendly conversation with K. Ray Bailey during Bele Chere.

[Disclaimer: I worked for Mr. Bailey when he was president of AB Tech. I enjoyed the school, the faculty, the great attitudes of the students, etc. Faculty and students alike sang his praises and now lament the “direction” the school has taken since his departure.]

Unfortunately, Commissioner Bailey and I disagree on economic development incentives. I see them as another attempt to achieve a Marxist utopia through redistribution of wealth. I further believe any interference with the market introduces inefficiencies, which, by definition raise costs without delivering product. Bailey, however, thinks it is great that the commissioners will likely approve giving New Belgium Brewing Company “from the county’s general fund amounts to make cash grants totaling $8,450,000 over a period beginning in 2016 and continuing through 2028.” Why? Because government likes them.