Updated: The conservative Americans for Prosperity is pushing its members – purportedly more than 140,000 – to send emails and letters calling for the state to drop plans to sell the 325-acre Dorothea Dix campus to the City of Raleigh.
Under Gov. Bev Perdue, the state has inched closer to a deal with the city to sell the downtown property that previously served as a state mental hospital.
The land would be turned into a park managed by North Carolina State University, but AFP wants the land sold on the open market. Says the letter, which is directed to members of the Council of State:
I am opposed to the “gifting” of the 325-acre Dorothea Dix campus to the City of Raleigh at a price far below market value or complicated lease agreement.
The property is owned by the state of North Carolina and not the Governor herself. Though the exact value of the property has not been determined, having the property sold on the open market allows for private landowners to purchase it which will put this value property on the tax rolls. Over time, billions would be paid in property tax to the City of Raleigh, Wake County and the State of North Carolina through income taxes.
The City of Raleigh and Wake County Taxpayers already have approx. 208 city parks, eight county parks and three state parks for which they pay. Adding another park would not enhance the city, county or state. It would merely add to the financial burden of the taxpayers.
In an attempt to leave a legacy for herself, Governor Perdue attempted to circumvent the Legislature and cut a dirty deal with North Carolina State University to create a park managed by the University. Chancellor Woodson rejected the deal. I urge you to do the same! North Carolinians do not need another taxpayer funded park; they need fiscally responsible governance.
Dallas Woodhouse, director of AFP-NC, added that the sale would amount to favoritism for "Raleigh elites."
Woodhouse said the group wants rural members of the Council of State to explain how the sale would benefit their hometowns, and for Auditor Beth Wood and Treasurer Janet Cowell to explain why this makes financial sense.
"State taxpayers have already provided the residents of Raleigh hundreds of millions of dollars for the State Museums of Art, History, and Natural Sciences, the PNC Arena, the North Carolina Symphony," he said.