Thursday, December 11, 2008

The DEATH of a City

North Carolina is the place to be. All over the state cities are growing and thriving. With cities like Raleigh (#39), Greenville (#72), and High Point (#88) on the Top 100 Fastest Growing Cities it is clear that North Carolina is on the rise. Areas like The Triangle, The Triad, The Charlotte Metro Area, Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune are BOOMING. Greenville is EXPLODING. With universities like, Duke, NC State, UNC, ECU, UNC Wilmington, Fayetteville State, UNC Greensboro, UNC Asheville, North Carolina Central, NC A&T, Shaw, etc. People from all over the country are coming here to go to school, get a job, and raise a family. All the Universites are in cities that are growing by leaps and bounds. It is true, "nothing can be finer than to be in Carolina". BUT WAIT! I know that I just painted a Pretty Picture about all the success and growth that the state as a whole is experiencing. BUT! Not every City and Town is reaping the benefits of that growth and success. Kinston, NC is one of those cities!

In fact Kinston is SHRINKING! Population in July 2007: 22,346. Population change since 2000: -5.0%. This is CRAZY! With most of the other cities in the state doing so well why is Kinston SHRINKING? I can tell you why!

* Median household income below state average.
* Median house value below state average.
* Less than High School Diploma above the State average.
* Unemployed percentage above state average.
* Black race population percentage significantly above state average.
* Median age above state average.
* Institutionalized population percentage above state average.
* Percentage of population with a bachelor's degree or higher below state average.

There is nothing in Kinston to keep the young, bright, and talented youth of the county Here. Why stay in Kinston when you can go to Raleigh, Charlotte, Wilmington, or Greensboro? The Loss of the textile industry in Kinston has had a huge effect on the community. Manufacturing in the area is on the decline. There just isn't enough good paying jobs to keep the people here. People have families to take care of they can't just wait around for the next big thing to come. They have to go where the jobs are. Yes, when Spirit comes it will bring much needed jobs to the city but that want be enough. We need more.

So we know what the problem is. It is Jobs, and Education. Most people leave home to get an education or to get a Job. SO, if we can provide them a 4 year education (AT LEAST THAT)and provide incentives for companies to come to the city, which would create jobs, a lot of people will might think twice about leaving. When people leave the city, the city LOSES tax revenue! BOTTOM LINE! When the City loses Tax Revenue the City will find ways to generate more TAX REVENUE. Most of the time they just RAISING TAXES. BUT! If you continue to raise taxes you will only run off the people who actually want to live in the city. They will move in to the county or worse out of the area all together. We must do our best to find ways to keep people in city and the county without raising taxes!
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