High Point, NC — Concerns over budget cuts to High Point Furniture Market prompted N.C. Governor Pat McCrory to backtrack on his initial budget proposal released in March announcing a more than 50 percent cut to High Point in 2014.
Approximately 40 furniture industry executives, including HPMA Chairman Doug Bassett - president of Vaughn-Bassett Furniture, signed off on a letter sent to N.C. State Senator Phil Berger, President Pro Tempore and N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis on Tues., April 2, urging them to restore funding to the High Point Market Authority to the fiscal 2010 level of $2 million ($1.2 million in transportation funds and $806,478 in marketing).
"For almost a decade, the State of North Carolina has partnered with private industry and
with the City of High Point and other local bodies to fund the operations of the HPMA," the letter said. "This has been a wise investment by the State; our two markets each year generate about $40 million in state tax receipts, or a return of twenty dollars for every one dollar invested by the State. This return is directly related to the 80,000 visitors that the furniture market attracts to North Carolina for up to one week, twice each year. Put another way, over 2,200 companies exhibit at each Market and over 10,000 companies come to High Point Market to buy furniture every April and October. It’s like hosting two Super Bowls in North Carolina every year."
One-third of the funding for High Point comes from exhibiting companies through a self-imposed showroom tax. Another third comes from the city of High Point with the final third of funding coming from the state government.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, McCrory's communications director Kim Genardo said McCrory told his Commerce and Transportation secretaries during a cabinet meeting Mon., April 1 - a day before the HPMA letter was released - that he would not cut the HPMA budget.
"We anticipated there would be local contributions available for the market by the second year, but we've since learned that's not the case," Genardo was quoted as saying. "Due to this new information, we're restoring full funding." Genardo also said at the time that McCrory did not know about the HPMA letter.
Some of the furniture industry's high-profile companies were listed on the HPMA letter, including: Bassett Furniture, Bernhardt Furniture Co., Broyhill Furniture, Century Furniture, Furniture Brands, Hooker Furniture, Lane Furniture, La-Z-Boy, Legacy Classic Furniture, Sauder Woodworking, Thomasville Furniture, Vaughn-Bassett Furniture and more.
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