Editorial: State budget cuts hit home

September 19, 2013 

For all of you who don’t pay a whole lot of attention when the General Assembly is busy debating bills, calling each other names and making laws, perhaps over next the few months you’ll start to get a picture of just how much it can impact you right here in a little old community like eastern Wake County.

Folks in Zebulon will soon start seeing the impact of budget cuts when several subpar roads go unrepaired because there is not enough money to do the job properly. That’s because the state sliced in half the amount of money it’s giving towns through the awkardly named Hold Harmless fund, which was designed to replace money lost when the state did away with the inventory tax on industrial taxpayers.

The town’s public works department will do what it can to address the worst trouble spots, but other roads in nearly equal disrepair will simply have to do until another budget year.

So as you drive through a pothole and curse the fact that you need to take your car to the shop for a realignment, remember that legislators helped cause that problem. The work that goes on in Raleigh on Jones Street isn’t always one set of powerbrokers doing favors for their rich friends.

Sometimes the work they do has a real impact on ordinary people, and the consequences can be either good or bad.

In this case, the consequences will not be good for Zebulon residents or visitors.

Next time, it might be worth your while to stay tuned to what goes on in the halls of the legislature. Doing so will give you an opportunity to point out the good and bad of the ideas legislators are wrestling with. That might allow you to avoid potholes down the line because your local government had the resources to fix them before it becomes a real headache for everyone.

It is said that all politics is local. There’s nothing more local than potholes in the street. And because of the changes foisted on towns like Zebulon, there’s not much they are going to be able to do about it.

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