I'm going to put this in both the moving threads as I moved to NC from VA within the last 6 months myself, but previously lived in NC from 1993-2000.
1. Asheville has the second highest cost of living in the Southeast, ranking second only to Atlanta.
2. Charlotte/Mecklenburg County has the highest taxes in NC and the second highest in the southeast- second again only to Atlanta.
3. NC is 7th highest income tax in the country.
4. Charlotte/Mecklenburg County has the highest sales tax in the state (7.25%).
5. Depending on where you live, again Charlotte/Mecklenburg being the highest in the state, property taxes (owing a home) is 3x higher than what I paid in VA if I would have bought inside the city. I purchased in the county and am still paying about 25% more in property taxes than I did in VA. The same size/same priced home I had in VA which cost me almost $900 annually in property taxes, here is $2600 annually. Hence my buying a house in the county.
If I ever decided to be close to Charlotte- can't imagine that I would, but- I'd live across the border in SC and commute.
I love Asheville, think it's a great town. Good food, good music scene and the mountains, camping, and outdoor lifestyle. But Asheville is definitely a city of haves and have-nots, with not a lot in between. As expensive as it is to live there, it is filled with what I call working poor. People trying to make their living off the tourism industry, which is restaurants, entertainment, etc. which are not very well paying jobs.