Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Andreotta issues statement on effort to erase Playhouse grant

Responding on Tuesday to questions and criticism from constituents about his vote to deny the Flat Rock Playhouse a $30,000 grant, Commissioner Daniel Andreotta issued a statement in which he declared "100 percent" support for the theater but explained why he thinks it should sustain itself without taxpayer support.

He said the statement "is from myself alone, and not from the Henderson County Board of Commissioners as a whole."

Commissioners Bill Lapsley, Rebecca McCall and Michael Edney voted no last month on Andreotta's motion to strip the grant from the 2022-23 county budget. David Hill joined Andreotta in voting yes.

Here is the full statement:

"Greetings Henderson County,

"I’ve received communication recently from several citizens regarding my position on taxpayer funding to the Flat Rock Playhouse. I feel it necessary to clarify the reasons for that position.

"First, I know well what a blessing the Flat Rock Playhouse is to Henderson County, as well as to all of Western North Carolina. I have friends employed there, so I am absolutely 100% supportive, and wish them only success. I have never proposed defunding them, however, I do not believe we should be further subsidizing them with tax payer funds either.

"Henderson County has a strong economic development initiative whereby we recruit quality industry that brings greater income opportunities for our citizens. These industries are held to strict investment and wage standards. They also pay the lion’s share of the property taxes. This allows us to keep the tax burden on our citizens among the lowest in the state, compared to the other counties with a population of over 100,000. This means we are picking our tax paying citizens as the winners! The Flat Rock Playhouse does not qualify under this umbrella. 

"The Flat Rock Playhouse, being formed as a non-profit, does not get a property tax bill while struggling families and senior adults on fixed incomes do. Therefore I do not support additional subsidies at the taxpayers’ expense, regardless of the context. Being an entity that can and does generate revenue, I feel they are fully equipped to sustain themselves, especially given the great tax advantage they already have. Remember, Henderson County has no money of its own. We only have the resources we taxed away from citizens after they worked to earn it. As a steward of those resources I will always view $30,000 as I would $30 million.

"I hope this information is helpful as I always want you to know where I stand and why. It is an honor to serve as a County Commissioner for the greatest people anywhere… Henderson County."