Ben Bradford

Reporter

Ben Bradford is a city kid, who came to Charlotte from San Francisco by way of New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. Prior to his career in journalism, Ben spent time as an actor, stuntman, viral marketer, and press secretary for a Member of Congress. He graduated from UCLA in 2005 with a degree in theater and from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 2012. As a reporter, his work has been featured on NPR, WNYC, the BBC, and Public Radio International.

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Local News
1:36 am
Tue March 24, 2015

NC Senate Sales Tax Proposal Further Cuts Charlotte Budget

A Charlotte budget document from January shows projected revenue shortfalls under various scenarios. The bottom, dark-red line shows the elimination of the business license tax and the changed sales tax. Brown's actual bill would not create as immediate a dip, because it phases in over three years. At the time of the chart's creation, the city also had not yet been notified of a $10 million loss in property tax revenues, due to lower revaluations.
Credit City of Charlotte

Top Republicans in the state Senate Monday unveiled their proposal to shift sales taxes from urban areas to rural areas. The bill’s sponsor says it will help poorer counties, but it would compound the growing hole in Charlotte’s budget.


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Local News
8:51 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Split On Incentives Reflects General Assembly's Geographic Divide

Credit Jim Bowen / Flickr

Governor Pat McCrory has made replenishing the state’s economic incentives fund one of his top, immediate priorities. This week Republican leaders in the Senate introduced their own plan, which differs significantly from the governor’s. It sets up a debate over incentives, but also falls into a larger, intra-party fight that’s as much regional as ideological.


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Local News
4:20 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Meeting Canceled, Coal Ash Commission Uncertain After Court Decision

A plastic box contains coal ash.
Credit Alexia Gyorody / WFAE

The commission overseeing North Carolina’s clean-up of coal ash around the state has canceled its upcoming meeting, because of a court decision that has called the group’s legitimacy into question.


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Local News
6:26 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Charlotte Budget Takes Another Big Hit; Carlee To Order Hiring Freeze

The loss of business privilege license tax revenue and lowered property tax projections have created a gap in the Charlotte budget.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

The city of Charlotte faces a gaping hole in the upcoming budget. A combination of state tax changes and Mecklenburg County’s property tax revaluation has city officials scrambling to plug the gap.


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Local News
8:30 am
Tue March 17, 2015

New Train Facility In Charlotte Part Of A 'Grand Experiment'

A crane lifts a container onto a train at the Charlotte intermodal facilty.
Credit Ben Bradford / WFAE

For decades, trucks have dominated as the main transporter of goods inland, but trains are picking up steam, and Charlotte is part of an ambitious plan by one railway to pick up even more.


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Local News
11:30 am
Wed March 11, 2015

State Charges Duke Energy Record Fine Over Coal Ash

Duke Energy's Sutton Plant, near Wilmington.
Credit Duke Energy

North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources has issued the largest fine in its history, against Duke Energy. The agency fined Duke $25 million for pollution from coal ash at its Sutton Lake coal plant, near Wilmington.


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Local News
11:06 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Teacher Raises, College Cuts, Zoo Swap In McCrory Budget

A slide from the governor's budget presentation shows the breakdown of General Fund revenues between agencies. It does not include federal funds or other fees, including the gas tax, which fuels the state transportation budget.
Credit NC Office of State Budget and Management

Governor Pat McCrory released his budget plan, his proposal for how the state should spend money for the next two years. It distributes more than $45 billion from the state’s general fund, or more than $100 billion when including all the other fees, federal dollars, and various revenue streams the state uses to fund services. The final budget may look quite a bit different once state lawmakers are through, but this proposal is where the debate begins. 

Taxes

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Local News
10:07 am
Thu March 5, 2015

House Votes For Gas Tax Cut/Hike

Credit Rusty Clark / Flickr

The North Carolina House has voted for a slight drop—followed by a more substantial hike—for the state gas tax. Lawmakers have called the bill a stopgap.


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Local News
4:34 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Economic Incentives Move Toward Final Vote In NC House

Credit Jim Bowen / Flickr

A bill containing tax breaks to lure businesses to North Carolina passed its first vote in the state House of Representatives, although it divided both parties. The bill expands several economic incentives, but sponsors emphasized one goal in particular: to lure a carmaker to the state.

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Local News
5:46 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Petraeus Reaches Plea Deal With Federal Prosecutors In Charlotte

Retired Army General David Petraeus has agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors over allegations that he shared classified information with his biographer Paula Broadwell, with whom he later admitted having an affair. Under the terms of the deal, the former commander in Iraq and Afghanistan could avoid jail time.


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