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Asheville voters overwhelmingly approve bond referendum package

Asheville voters made a major financial commitment at the polls on Tuesday by overwhelmingly approving a $74 million bond referendum package. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Voters made a major financial commitment at the polls on Tuesday by overwhelmingly approving a $74 million bond referendum package.

It's divided into three pieces, each winning more than 70 percent of the vote. The approval means property taxes will increase.

They include funding for transportation, affordable housing and parks programs.

Payment on the bonds will come over seven years time, amounting to a property tax hike of $110 each year for the average priced home.

"That information was put out there, and the people voted for it, so what that means to me is that they have an understanding of what the tax implications are for this kind of investment," Mayor Esther Manheimer said.

Despite the big win at the polls, not everyone feels the bond referendums were a good idea.

John Miall worked in risk management for the city for 30 years and even ran for mayor. Miall believes the bond deal is a bad deal and that it's just more of the same from city hall.

"The city council, going back for the last four or five years, we've had tax increase after tax increase, fee after fee after fee, the fiscal house is not in good order, and it concerns me that the public would trust me with 74-million-dollars," he said.

Other homeowners News 13 spoke with said they felt differently.

"It seemed like a good investment for us to make, this is money that's being raised that's going to be invested in our community, and it's things like infrastructure and housing and stuff like that which is really important," James Murray, of Carolina Bed & Breakfast, said.

Woodfin voters also overwhelmingly approved a $4.5 million bond. That'll pay for a greenway, a park and a new white-water area on the french broad river in hopes of connecting to all the development in the River Arts District.

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