In the mid-1990’s (more than 30 years ago) developers renovated the old cotton mill on Capital Blvd. A tax break was available at that time to incentivize the preservation of the cotton mill rather than demolishing it. In exchange for officially listing the cotton mill as a registered historic place, the developers were able to reduce their tax bill by 50%.

By all accounts the preservation and renovation of the cotton mill was a success. The building was preserved and through renovation was used to create the Cotton Mill Condos. Today the Cotton Mill Condos are one of Raleigh’s premier and most expensive housing communities. Recently a condo a little more than 700 square feet was listed for $315,000. That’s $430 a square foot.

What you might not realize is that the tax break granted to the original developers has been passed on to the current owners of the condos. The most famous (some say infamous) of the Cotton Mill Condos owners is Raleigh’s Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. She purchased a condo in 2003 long after the renovation. The total assessed value for her condo is $493,230. Yet, she only pays tax on half that amount: $246,615.

Today, the interior of the old cotton mill does not resemble its past. Today it is home to luxury condo living and is no longer in danger of demolition. Yet, the Mayor has no interest in raising her taxes to pay her fair share.

Baldwin gained her infamous reputation in part by sponsoring yet another tax break – known as a tax incentive grant or TIG – for her developer friends. In addition to this tax break, shortly after taking office Baldwin was offered a job within weeks of the City approving a multimillion-dollar contract for Barnhill Contracting.

At the last Council meeting another multimillion-dollar contract was approved for yet another former Baldwin employer – Holt Brothers.

What do all these tax breaks mean to you? If you live in Raleigh, you have seen your taxes go up 22% during Baldwin’s tenure as Mayor. Moreover, Baldwin recently voted to raise the salaries of Mayor and Council by 82%. Isn’t it time we rooted out corruption in City government? Vote this election for Dr. Terrance Ruth who will restore integrity and trust in Raleigh’s Mayor’s office.

Livable Raleigh Editorial Team