It is election time again! As we do annually, encore asked the candidates to answer questions related to their support for our local economy. We are in effect hiring people to manage our money and plan our future. Thus, if we do not ask them to think about and invest in our local economy, we cannot expect them to do it.
Please, when attending candidate forums and reading the responses of candidates in this publication and others, ask yourself: “Does this answer reflect knowledge of the issues? Did the candidate do the homework? Would I hire this person to manage my money and make sound financial decisions based on research and analysis? Does this candidate share my values, and value my home and my community the way I do?”
Voter turnout for municipal elections in off years is historically low, but the people elected to these offices make very real decisions about our money and our lives on a daily basis. Over the next few weeks, we will bring you interviews with many of the candidates. We ask you to read carefully and vote critically—but most importantly, vote on November 8th!
This week encore asked Elizabeth King, candidate for alderman of Wrightsville Beach, to answer questions about her “Buy Local” consciousness and re-election campaign. Here is how it unfolded.
encore (e): Are you familiar with either the Buy Local ILM movement or the national one?
Elizabeth King (EK): I am aware of the movement and reasons behind the movements. The underlying principles for supporting local businesses are sound, as long as quality and pricing are competitive.
e: How does your platform support small business, entrepreneurs and Buy Local?
EK: There are a number of businesses at Wrightsville Beach that are supported and valued by the local residents.
e: In our current economic climate, do you feel the movement is important to the Cape Fear region?
EK: This decision should be made by the leaders of the individual institutions based upon the individual challenges facing them.
e: Do you frequent farmers’ markets? What are your thoughts on the place of agriculture within our local economy?
EK: Yes, and I have supported the farmers’ markets for years. Wrightsville Beach, downtown, Market Street, and various markets in Wilmington and New Hanover County.
e: What percentage of your consumer spending do you dedicate toward locally owned businesses (farms and foods included)? Chain stores and restaurants? Shopping on the Internet?
EK: I always support locally owned business when there is a product of quality that I value.
e: What is your position on film incentives?
EK: Only if necessary to be competitive.
e: What is your position on incentives to attract new businesses to our area?
EK: Should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with the payment of the incentive.
e: Do you support any sort of tax breaks or rewards for existing small businesses that provide jobs and pay into the tax base?
EK: Generally, I oppose; however, it should be left open to evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
e: What are your thoughts regarding the collection and remittance of sales tax by large online retailers back to states and eventually municipalities like ours? Should they be forced to comply with sales tax collection?
EK: Very interesting concept, and I am not sure how it could be regulated and managed. Sales tax is generally collected in the area where the business is located and supports that area.
[Note: There is once again a bill in Congress to enforce national collection of sales tax by online retailers and remittance to the municipalities from which it was collected. Amazon.com has been in the news frequently for their various attempts to circumvent compliance with sales tax remittance, specifically in the state of California. Regulation and management of online sales tax collection is already a reality for many online retailers and the software is available to make it simple. For example, there is a sales tax when you check out your online purchase at Target.com.]