North Carolina's E-Cigarette Tax

Where bad tax policy meets special interest politics

North Carolina passed a law during the 2014 legislative session taxing the liquid used in electronic cigarettes at an additional 5 cents per milliliter. This tax will hurt small businesses and violates the most important principle of good tax policy—neutrality. The North Carolina General Assembly should repeal the electronic cigarette tax.

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The Best of Both Budgets

"Reverse logrolling" would help legislators produce a sound spending plan

Reverse logrolling applied to the current state budget would result in a General Fund budget of $20.6 billion and a $667 million surplus, which would allow legislators more flexibility when discussing spending priorities, including teacher pay increases.  It would also allow enough to be set aside in savings and reserves to avoid any unforeseen shortfalls in the next fiscal year. 

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Educational Freedom Works

Scholarly research shows gains from school choice and competition

This study synthesizes findings from 888 articles published since 1990.  Based on these, we can say that in recent years North Carolina has been moving in the right direction on school reform. Policymakers should continue the momentum and resist attempts to backtrack.

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An Occupancy Tax Increase?

Haywood County already has a million dollars annually from existing tax

Officials from Haywood County have proposed an increase in the county’s occupancy tax by 50 percent, which would disadvantage Haywood compared to surrounding counties with lower rates.  Taxation is justified only for necessary purposes of government. Tourism promotion is not such a function and can best be served by the private sector.

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Lower Taxes, Higher Growth

Scholarly research reveals economic benefits of fiscal restraint

Most studies find that lower levels of taxes and spending, less-intrusive regulation, and lower energy prices correlate with stronger economic performance. The implications of this research track well with recent public policies adopted in North Carolina. Judging from the available empirical evidence, North Carolina’s new policy mix is likely to result in stronger economic growth in the coming years.

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Wrong Way

How the Map Act threatens NC property owners

The North Carolina Map Act virtually freezes property development within proposed road corridors and can encumber and devalue property indefinitely.  North Carolina should protect the constitutional property rights of its citizens by repealing or reforming the Map Act.

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Common Core State Standards

The way forward

The NC General Assembly should create two permanent commissions charged with raising the quality and rigor of state standards, curricula, and assessments.  Each commission should employ a large and diverse group of stakeholders and should modify or replace the Common Core State Standards, specify content that aligns with the standards, recommend a testing program, and provide ongoing review.

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The John Locke Foundation presents

The Weed Agency - The Funny and All Too Real Struggle Against Big Government

Jim Geraghty, a contributing editor at National Review, writes the Campaign Spot blog on the Web magazine National Review Online. He regularly appears on CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC, and guest-hosted the nationally syndicated Hugh Hewitt show on the Salem Radio Network.

In 2008, Best Life magazine called Geraghty one of "the 10 most important voices to listen to this election cycle," and his blog was awarded for having the "Best Political Dirt" by in 2004. The London Times praised his "killer insight" in that election cycle. His columns also have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Times, The Washington Examiner and The New York Sun.

His first book, "Voting to Kill: How 9/11 Launched the Era of Republican Leadership" was published by Simon and Schuster in August 2006. His new book, The Weed Agency: Federal Bureaucracy without Limits, published by Random House, has just been released.

Geraghty was a 2008 Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and has been a guest speaker at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul, Turkey and Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Geraghty was among the bloggers who skeptically questioned Dan Rather's reporting of a memo that claimed to criticize President Bush's military record. After a network official dismissed the criticism as coming from "a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas," Jim coined the phrase "pajamahadeen" to describe his fellow skeptics. The American Dialect Society declared the term the "most creative" new word of 2004.

A former reporter at States News Service, Geraghty's reporting appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Denver Post, Detroit Free Press, Bergen Record, and scores of other papers. Earlier in his career, he reported for the Dallas Morning News, Congressional Quarterly, and the now-departed web sites and

Specialties: Besides his award-winning campaign coverage, Geraghty spent two years in Ankara, Turkey working as a foreign correspondent and studying Islam and terrorism. In his career, he has also reported from Egypt, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Jordan.

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JLF's Sarah Curry explains why N.C. should repeal its e-cigarette tax

Join Carolina Freedom Clubs


John Locke Foundation analysts and staff have traveled to every corner of North Carolina. We’ve listened to your greatest hopes and worst fears for our state, and we’ve heard a consistent message: You want JLF to be a more prominent resource in your community.

JLF's regional clubs will host meetings for like-minded conservatives, on your home turf. We'll bring you events with well known thinkers and writers, give you reports on our activities and new research, update you on issues that impact your neighborhood and wallet, and learn more about the threats to liberty you face in your city and country.

We have established 7 regional clubs covering every part of North Carolina.

Jul 17, 2014

Speech-Stifling Ordinance Grants Notable Exemption

Winston-Salem city government has set up new restrictions for door-to-door salesmen, unless they're hawking newspapers.

Jul 10, 2014

Not Much Cooling Linked to New CO2 Regulations

The impact on climate of these costly regulations would be so tiny, so close to zero, that it is not worth mentioning.

Jul 03, 2014

A Suspicious Reason To Raise Taxes

Two large counties cite public education as justification for a sales tax increase. The timing is curious.

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Sep 06, 2012

How to downplay an embarrassing story

The N&O buries the one moment of real drama at the Democratic National Convention.

Mar 21, 2012

Death of a narrative

The world's media found the neo-Nazi meme in stories about the school shooting in France just too enticing.

Jan 16, 2012

Anatomy of a Newspaper Hit Piece

In a Sunday piece, <i>The Charlotte Observer</i> employs all the steps used by the mainstream media to mislead readers.

More Media Mangle >>

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