This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Should Watauga County pay for services for other counties?

A question for our readers to discuss.

One point that the county commission has made during the budget process, is that Watauga County seems to be the only county providing funding for the Hospitality House which, according to their web site, serves SEVENcounties.

"Hospitality House, serves seven counties (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, Yancey) in northwestern North Carolina helping individuals and families in crisis, poverty and homeless situations rebuild their lives."  (From

Most would probably agree that Hospitality House provides an important and necessary service. The question is however, why should the taxpayers of the other 6 counties expect our Watauga taxpayers to bear the full burden?  Yesterday, Hospitality House asked the  Watauga Board of County Commissioners for an allocation of funds to repair the potholes in the new facility's parking lot.

Were the other 6 counties asked for a contribution as well?

Another question.....maybe someone from the Watauga School Board would be kind enough to answer.

How many students from other counties are being educated in Watauga County Schools? And, how much are those counties contributing to the cost of their education? We hear our liberal friends bemoaning any reduction in funds that the State of NC and Watauga County contribute to the running of our schools - but we know that we have children from other counties  in our school system as well. Are Watauga taxpayers responsible for residents of other counties.

Who should pay for services rendered to the residents of other counties? Why should Watauga taxpayers be responsible?


NewGuy said...

While I don't believe that Watauga County government should tax Watauga citizens in order to provide services to the other counties, I do believe that those who are able to should donate money or goods to help those in need. Hospitality House is always in need of bedding, towels, toiletries, cleaning products, office supplies, and food items - and, of course, MONEY.

Donate by mail

Please make your check payable to Hospitality House and mail it to:

Hospitality House

P.O. Box 309
Boone, NC 28607
Donate by phone

We are pleased to accept your Visa, MasterCard or American Express by phone. Please call Todd Carter, Director of Development, at 828.264.1237


Due to the high volume of residents the Hospitality House serves, we are always in need of necessities for day-to-day living. Download our wishlist for ideas of things we can always use and donate goods in-kind.

Reader said...

I've heard that for years. I have also heard Wilkes County busses their people in and drops them in Boone or the county line. This is one organization I don't believe in helping, New Guy. We have tried to help a few people get back on their feet while staying there. A few were successful, a few not. Three or four years ago they used to "allow" bible studies to take place...then decided that it was not going to be an option any longer. When they decide to offer it again, I will give out of my pocket...otherwise Watauga County will give my part in taxes.

Watauga County shouldn't have to bear the burden alone. I'd like to know how many people in the HH are residents from Watauga. Very few I bet.

NewGuy said...

Reader, I think you make some good points and I agree that, if you disagree with the way they operate, you should not donate to them.

But, I certainly don't think that you should be taxed by local government and having that government make those "donation" decisions for you - even over your objections. I resent having to involuntarily support a charity that I did not choose to support - but, more particularly, I strongly resent paying taxes to Watauga County so that they can use the money to provide these services to residents of other counties!

The same with the school issue. From what I hear, the school board is happy to accept students from other counties...probably on the theory that it creates more state funding and allows them to support a larger bureaucracy.

By the way, I have not verified the information about students from other counties attending Watauga schools. Maybe some of our readers have some information on this that they could share....


Here's a crazy idea! Maybe someone in our local media could look into this and inform the people of this county how their money is being spent. Or perhaps someone on the BOE could let us know?

USS Rodger Young said...

This doesn't surprise me at all. the prior County Commissioners loved to use our taxpayer money for anything they could think of.

guy faulkes said...

I agree that if other counties use the Hospitality House they should help fund it.

As far as students go, there are two towns that cross county lines. Students from these towns and the outlying areas around them attend Watauga County schools. These would be Blowing Rock and I believe Beech Mountain. I think the school systems receive money from both of the counties involved, but I am not sure.

NewGuy said...

Guy, it would seem to make sense that each county should pay their 'fair share' of the county contributions to H.House. Whether that is based on the county populations or some other criteria, it shouldn't be too hard to work out.

As to the schools..yes, you are correct. From what I remember from previous discussions/news articles, there is a reciprocity agreement among the counties and there are cases where it only makes sense geographically for someone to attend a closer school in another county. In those cases, the county of residence is supposed to reimburse the county providing the service.

From what I hear however, that is not what is happening. I don't have details but it is my understanding that we have students from Ashe county who are being brought here because their parents prefer Watauga schools - not because of their proximity to Ashe County schools. I don't believe we should even allow this, but if we are going to - then Watauga should be reimbursed by the county of residence.

I understand that this may be even a larger problem with Avery county children in Watauga schools without any reimbursement to Watauga.

I was hoping someone would have some specific knowledge of this. I will see what I can find out.

NewGuy said...

I should add again that the bureaucracy that Watauga schools employ certainly has no incentive to reduce the Watauga school population. They oppose Charter schools, home schooling and anything else that lessens the student population. I have no difficulty in believing that they would consider it to their benefit to encourage as many out-of-county students to come here as possible. What is their incentive not to?

guy faulkes said...

Excellent points, New Guy.