Archived Opinion

Enough is enough with developers

Enough is enough with developers

To the Editor:

Over the last few years I have read with incredulity article after article about how our town alderman and county commissioners have been handing millions of dollars to large corporations in the form of property tax breaks while raising those same taxes on average homeowners. There is no doubt we need affordable housing, but providing incentives to big developers by overtaxing us homeowners is not needed. 

The Sunnyside/Raccoon Road development in Waynesville will make plenty of profits by selling small houses on one-sixth acre lots for up to $400,000. Who thinks $400,000 is affordable? The old Bi-Lo property development will be just fine without taking the money in my pocket. The same goes for the hotel on Hyatt Creek. Haywood County’s tax rate is .535 per $100. Compare that to Charlotte’s Mecklenburg County, which is .3481 per $100.  

With the approval of each of these projects there have been some sound bites from our leaders about how we need more affordable housing. Our leaders then decided to increase the burden on your average homeowner by increasing tax revenue. My taxes are escrowed and with the increase voted in my monthly mortgage payment has gone up by $178.03 (Merry Christmas). Is that what Mayor Gary Caldwell considers affordable? The landlords are looking at the same situation and will have no choice but to increase the rents.

Bottom line is it is fun to spend other people’s money and our alderman and commissioners are not going to stop spending unless we vote them out.

Jon Nowakowski


Leave a comment


  • This is close to getting at the heart of it, and why we will see our small towns disappear forever: greed.
    It's in all of us. But we must keep one another accountable, especially our leaders.

    posted by Gram Wrath

    Tuesday, 01/18/2022

  • Hear! Hear! I'm all for it. CLEAR THE BOARD AND LET'S START OVER.

    posted by Jim Cole

    Monday, 01/17/2022

  • LOL Well whom do you think will be building all the new houses for people to live in??

    posted by Jim A.

    Saturday, 01/15/2022

  • I’ll tell you who thinks $400,000 houses are affordable.
    People from Texas and California and Florida
    If you already don’t own land in Haywood County and you’re a local and grandma or mom and dad aren’t gonna give you some land you are in trouble.
    Capitalism can be harsh!

    posted by Scott

    Saturday, 01/15/2022

  • I don’t think developers should be given tax breaks per se, after all each home built and sold will generate more tax revenue with the buyers ownership. But incentives like land grants or grants toward construction costs would help with the affordability factor. Reducing the cost of building will make the selling price more affordable as well as proving grants for home buyers who meet certain income limits that goes toward a down payment with certain restrictions could help. Townhomes would be the most likely product to keep costs down too. My career in FL was proving financing for developers and there are many types of construction methods that can cut costs. One of which is the poured concrete wall sections built offsite at a factory and delivered to the construction site for completion. A town home there can go up in less than 3 months. There are so many ways to get affordable projects underway here, they just need to be investigated, and implemented.

    posted by Martha Bowman

    Friday, 01/14/2022

  • Thank you, Mr. Nowakowski. We live in the county so don't pay any town taxes, but we are dismayed at the cavalier spending of Waynesville residents' money as well as county money to big developers who make obscene profits while the middle class cannot find affordable homes to rent or buy.
    Our favorite carpenter/electrician/plumber is a Haywood native in his early 30s who's had to move to Alabama with his wife, who also has a responsible job, and his little girl because they couldn't find a decent house they could afford here.
    This is realtor- and developer-made inflation on a shameful scale.

    posted by Mary Curry

    Thursday, 01/13/2022

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