Carolina Journal Weekly Report

March 02, 2012

Carolina Journal Weekly Report
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For the week of March 02, 2012 -

Reaction of the Week

RALEIGH — The average North Carolinian surrendered more than 4.5 percent of his personal income to fund city and county government in the 2010 budget year, the same percentage paid in taxes and fees in 2009. That’s according to a new John Locke Foundation report.

The local tax and fee burden continued to top more than $2,000 a year in five of North Carolina’s largest cities.

“The typical resident of the median county in North Carolina paid $1,242 in taxes and fees to county and municipal governments in the 2010 budget year,” said report author Michael Lowrey, a JLF policy analyst in economics and regulatory policy. “That’s down from an inflation-adjusted $1,321 figure for 2009. But the numbers look different when you factor in the fact that many of the state’s more populous counties also have above-average local tax and fee burdens.”

Adjusting for population, the state average local government tax burden remains constant at 4.52 percent for a second straight year.

“The impact of the Great Recession was not felt equally throughout the state,” Lowrey said. “While income per person rose slightly in the median county, the state’s major urban areas saw sharp declines in personal income per person. Statewide, per capita personal income dropped $800 from 2008 to 2009. So the smaller dollar figure for the tax-and-fee burden did not translate into a smaller burden on a percentage basis.”

News Features

CJ: Races take shape
RALEIGH — Candidate filing for the May primary closed at noon Wednesday with 40 percent of legislative districts — 68 seats out of 170 in the N.C. General Assembly — lacking either a Republican or Democratic challenger.

CJ: ‘Green’ jobs estimates cost taxpayers millions
RALEIGH — Since the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics does not allow states to set up categories and classifications of jobs that do not match federal definitions for other purposes, it’s unclear what value any of the state surveys will have to anyone other than elected officials and civic boosters.

CJ: Perdue friend ‘Buzzy’ Stubbs pleads not guilty
RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue’s close friend Trawick “Buzzy” Stubbs pleaded not guilty to criminal charges related to his unreported expenditures for the benefit of Perdue’s 2008 campaign for governor.

CJ: Unemployment insurance fraud to be studied
RALEIGH — A new N.C. House task force will study fraudulent unemployment insurance claims and potentially make policy recommendations to the General Assembly. House Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, announced the launch of the task force Tuesday at a press conference.

CJ: Raleigh Union Station may depend on sales tax hike
RALEIGH — A daunting array of studies, interlocal agreements, street renovations, and track work are still in the discussion phase. But before a $212 million multimodal transit center can be built on the west side of downtown Raleigh, it’s unclear whether Wake County must pass a half-cent sales tax referendum to guarantee the project will be built.

Upcoming Events

Monday, March 05, 2012 at 12:00 pm Noon
A meeting of the Shaftesbury Society
with our special guest Scott L. Silliman
"Killing by Drone: Issues of Law and Policy"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 7:30 PM
2012 John William Pope Lecture
with our special guest Meghan L. O'Sullivan
"Making Sense of the New Middle East: The Dynamics and Their Implications for US Interests"

Saturday, March 17, 2012 at 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
A Citizens' Constitutional Workshop in Morehead City, NC
with our special guests Dr. Troy Kickler & Dr. Michael Sanera
Workshop #2 in Morehead City: "What would the Federalists and Anti-federalists say about the current political and economic crises?"

John Locke Foundation Carolina Journal Online
The Locker Room Carolina Journal Radio

Capital Quotes

This campaign is going to be a 40-yard dash rather than a marathon like primaries we have had in the past.
— Democratic campaign strategist Brad Crone, talking to the Raleigh News & Observer about this year’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

The GOP has got to have North Carolina. Republicans don’t need their voters straying.
Michal Bitzer, a political scientist at Catawba College, talking to the Charlotte Observer about the potential impact of Americans Elect getting on the ballot for president in North Carolina.

I cast one vote at a time. I don’t look at whether it’s conservative or liberal.
— Rep. Mel Watt, D-12th, responding to the Raleigh News & Observer to his being ranked as the most liberal member of the state’s congressional delegation by National Journal.

If we continue to lose export sales, it’s just going to basically put us out of business.
Jimmy Pate, a fifth-generation tobacco farmer from Rowland, describing to the Charlotte Observer the importance of foreign tobacco sales and tobacco being included in a trade agreement being negotiated with eight Pacific Rim countries.

On The Air This Week…

Carolina Journal Radio

This week on C J Radio…
Carolina Journal Managing Editor Rick Henderson lays out government’s role in child nutrition, showcased in CJ reporting about Hoke County Schools taking away a child’s homemade lunch; lawmakers react to news that state bureaucrats shifted money to delay program cuts; UNC budget officer Charles Perusse tells legislators about UNC job cuts; Francis Gary Powers Jr. discusses his father’s role in Cold War history; JLF’s Michael Sanera shares results of a report about special deals given by the Raleigh Convention Center.

NC Spin

This week on NC Spin…
Join moderator Tom Campbell for another week of political discussion and debate on the most intelligent television talk show in the state. Topics this week: Candidate filings and the pre-kindergarten battle. This week’s panelists: John Hood, president of the John Locke Foundation; Chris Fitzsimon of NC Policy Watch; former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker; and broadcaster and businessman Henry Hinton.


© 2012 John Locke Foundation | 200 West Morgan St., Raleigh, NC 27601, (919) 828-3876



Material published here may be reprinted provided the
Locke Foundation receives prior notice and appropriate credit is given.


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