An Unfair Ranking? Why Chatham’s ‘Most Favored’ Status Could Be Costing Siler City Millions

An Unfair Ranking? Why Chatham’s ‘Most Favored’ Status Could Be Costing Siler City Millions

An Unfair Ranking? Why Chatham’s ‘Most Favored’ Status Could Be Costing Siler City Millions

Chatham News + Record, March 13, 2020

Economic developers are not the only ones dissatisfied with North Carolina’s Tier system. State Rep. Robert Reives II, who represents Chatham County in the General Assembly, describes Chatham as “a tale of two counties.” Currently, the state’s Tier system doesn’t help address wealth disparities between Old Economy towns like Siler City and upper-income suburbs south of Chapel Hill. As a Tier 3 county, state economic development programs treat both ends of the county the same. “It’s just a huge issue and something that everyone wants to see addressed,” Reives says. Like Siler City, nearly 20 percent of the state’s municipalities have more economic distress than their county. A 2015 report by the General Assembly’s Program Evaluation Division called for dissolving the Tier system. “But,” Reives says, “the problem is – just like with everything else in government – once it’s in place it’s kind of hard to get it out of place.”

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