AT&T Says No to Salisbury’s Bogus “Right of Way” Tax Bill. Will AT&T’s Rejection of the City’s Scam Upend the City’s Budget?

Posted on July 16, 2016

RFP Staff

♦ The RFP was provided a copy of a letter from AT&T Corporate Counsel to City Attorney Rivers Lawther refusing to pay the Salisbury’s “right of way tax” of one dollar per linear foot for AT&T lines. The former state law once permitting this tax has “sunset” and now the state is collecting and reimbursing these fees. Does anyone actually believe the city didn’t get the state’s email? Or did they just ignore it and think they could “get over”? City Hall seems to have a huge disconnect with what’s going in the state and the real world for that matter. (The letter from AT&T’s counsel is posted at the end of this article)

Did City Hall actually believe Fibrant’s towering competitor and Fortune 500 Company was going to miss this and help putty over city’s budget hole or is this just more of the misfeasance we’ve come to expect from City Manager Lane Bailey and his alleged staff?

Perhaps the Rowan Free Press should forward the AT&T letter to Spectrum’s Counsel (TWC is now owned and operated by Spectrum since Charter bought out TWC and Bright House). Heaven forbid Salisbury’s City Hall tried the same scam on Spectrum.

The city’s proposed budget gives no clear picture of exactly how much of a hole this missing revenue will create in the city budget this year or the impact this will have on Police and other infrastructure needs already dying of starvation due to Fibrant’s massive deficit that plunders the entire city budget. Well run municipalities elsewhere are quite aware of this change in the state law.

North Carolina’s notoriously troubled municipal broadband Fibrant continues to lose a whopping $10,000 per day. Wouldn’t it be smart if the state lawmakers stepped in and ended Fibrant’s exemption, forcing the city to end its charade and bundle up Fibrant and its buildings back to the lenders? It would be great if Salisbury were run for a few years by the steady hand of the LGC–the sooner the better. Fibrant is a monster debacle facing $3.5 million dollars in losses this year alone and more staggering losses in the years ahead. People are leaving the Bury every day and for sale signs dot the Salisbury landscape like the white crosses at Arlington National Cemetery.

If folks really desired to see their bullet-riddled bedroom community come back up for some air and perhaps start an impossible comeback, they need to drop their Fibrant subscriptions so city hall’s hand is forced to jettison the “debacle”.

The AT&T Letter to City Attorney River’s Lawther:

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