Authors and attendees alike agreed that Book ‘Em North Carolina was a magical place this past February, and nowhere is that more apparent than with author Bruce B. Blackmon, who was inspired to run for governor.
Blackmon attended the event to promote his book, “More Cash Less Taxes-World Peace” and to explain how growth endowment funds can lower taxes.
According to Blackmon, “the seed was planted” after two audience members said, “That’s a great idea. You should run for governor, and I would vote for you.”
“I could see that this would be an opportunity to talk about my plan across the state,” Blackmon said. “I paid the filing fee, tossed my hat in the ring, and ran for governor on the Democratic ticket last May.”
Blackmon’s run ended with the primaries, but three months’ campaigning earned some 24,000 votes supporting his tax relief plan.
Blackmon has promoted growth endowment ideas for more than 30 years.
“In 1980, I offered my church a one-time gift of $5,000 to honor my mother, with one half of the interest to be reinvested and the other half to be spent on missions outside of our church,” Blackmon said. “There was no response. I tried again in 1985, and my offer was accepted. Today that fund is worth about $400,000, and our church gets about $1,000 a month to spend on missions. Of course, other people have contributed to the fund since 1985, which is helping it to grow.”
Blackmon wrote his book after concluding that his idea could work for government, with the benefit that half the interest from a tax-relief growth endowment could lower taxes. So far, Blackmon’s home counties — Harnett and Four Oaks — have adopted the concept of a tax-relief growth endowment.
He has also spoken with 10 mayors across Johnston County who expressed their enthusiasm. And given the interest Blackmon experienced during his gubernatorial campaign, he hopes to speak with governor-elect Pat McCrory about implementing a state tax-relief growth endowment.
Blackmon raises several cautions. Tax relief funds must be protected. Any attempt to use endowment funds for other purposes — by politicians or anyone — should require a vote by the citizens. Also, once an endowment produces substantial tax relief, communities must guard against apathy. Blackmon uses a well-endowed church for example.
At first it sounds wonderful if endowment funds cover major operational expenses, but people with little responsibility can feel little commitment. Likewise, government endowments would need to guard against disinterest. Finally, the idea should grow from local to global, resulting in the world reaping benefits from this idea so all can gradually improve their well-being.
Blackmon himself is dedicated to the realization of this world vision. That said, all profits from the sale of “More Cash Less Taxes — World Peace” are dedicated to the Roy Giddings Growth Endowment for World Peace supporting the Campbell University Divinity School.
Blackmon says, “It has been an incredible experience as I have crisscrossed our state and met so many wonderful people. I am happy to talk with anyone, but especially city councils, county commissioners, and elected state and federal officials.”
Blackmon will return to Book ‘Em North Carolina on Feb. 23, 2013, and will speak again about lowering taxes through endowment funds.
p.m.terrell is the author of more than 16 books, the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation and co-chair of Book ‘Em North Carolina. For information about featured authors at Book ‘Em, visit www.bookemnc.org. For information on p.m.terrell, visit www.pmterrell.com.