JLF Research Archive

Showing items 1 to 25 of 501

(4.15.14) 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.


(3.06.14) 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.


(2.19.14) 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.


(2.05.14) City and County Issue Guide 2014

Policymakers in the many local governments of North Carolina face a host of important challenges. This issue guide offers solutions to problems that confront North Carolinians at municipal and county levels. The common thread in these recommendations is freedom. By increasing individual freedom, local governments can foster the prosperity of all North Carolinians and keep open avenues to innovative solutions from enterprising citizens.


(1.16.14) Tax Cuts for All: Tax Reform Means Savings to All NC Income Groups

The average North Carolina household in every income category received a tax cut from the 2013 tax reform. Considering both 2011 and 2013 tax changes, the average household in both the lowest and highest income categories is receiving a tax cut of about 1 percent of income.


(11.25.13) Redistribution of Health: Severe Side Effects of the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Exchanges

Despite it's promises, the federal health care law will bring premium increases to many due to community rating provisions, increased regulation and mandates, and problems with premium and cost-sharing subsidies.


(11.06.13) Trends in North Carolina State Spending: Total state spending has grown after both inflation and per capita adjustments

Regardless of how it is measured, state spending is increasing. North Carolina’s total state budget peaked in 2012, reaching more than $51 billion or $5,348 per capita, with federal spending totaling 45 percent of total expenditures.


(10.28.13) Energy Subsidies: How comparisons should be calculated but aren't

Over the last several years there have been a great many claims about energy subsidies for both renewables and traditional sources like coal and oil. The analysis hasn't, but should, focus on net subsidies, which includes both subsidies and penalties. The important question is - how are coercive policies distorting supply and demand relative to a free market?


(10.24.13) Certified: The Need to Repeal CON; Counter to their intent, Certificate of Need laws raise health care costs

Four decades’ worth of data and research into CON laws have shown that they fail to lower health care costs; if anything, they raise them. Despite this, North Carolina hosts one of the most restrictive CON programs in the country. State leaders could best prevent unnecessary increases in health care costs by repealing CON.


(10.22.13) CCNC Flaws: Why Community Care of North Carolina is Failing Patients, Taxpayers, and Policymakers

The debate over NC’s Medicaid program pits defenders of the status-quo Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) model against reformers touting Governor McCrory’s proposed Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina. This report identifies and explains CCNC’s flaws and shows how the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina is a far more effective approach to not only improve patient health, but also rein in Medicaid spending and save taxpayer dollars.


(9.24.13) Tax Reform 2013: Setting the Stage for Economic Growth

In 2013, North Carolina implemented fundamental tax reform, with changes to personal and corporate income taxes and sales tax. The plan cuts taxes by about $4.75 billion over five years, assuming the state meets certain revenue triggers and implements the plan fully. The importance of reducing tax revenues is that it transfers resources from political to private sector control, enhancing the overall efficiency of how these resources are used.


(9.17.13) 60 Questions About Common Core: Answers for North Carolinians

This updated primer serves to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Common Core State Standards and tests. North Carolina taxpayers should use it as a first step in assessing the massive changes underway in our public schools.


(7.24.13) Budget Basics: Sustaining the present, preserving the future

General Fund spending totals $20.6 billion for fiscal year 2013-14, only a 2.5 percent increase from the previous year, with Medicaid accounting for the largest increase in spending and tax reform saving taxpayers more than half-a-billion dollars over the two years.


(7.17.13) Improving Juvenile Justice: Finding More Effective Options for North Carolina’s Young Offenders

Methods to improve the juvenile justice system in North Carolina include adjusting the age of juvenile court jurisdiction and creating a system of blended sentencing. Adult court jurisdiction results in poor rehabilitation of juveniles and higher victimization rates amongst minors. Any apparent savings from keeping 16-17 year olds in the adult system are are ultimately overwhelmed by the costs associated with higher rates of recidivism and revocations.


(7.10.13) Lessons Learned: How the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina Avoids Kentucky’s Medicaid Reform Mistakes

Gov McCrory’s Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina is an innovative approach to redesign the state’s Old Medicaid system. This report explains the strategies and provisions included in the Partnership that help to ensure North Carolina’s Medicaid reform does not replicate Kentucky’s failings.


(6.20.13) Three Truths of Tax Reform: Senate, House plans would spur growth, create jobs

The House and Senate tax bills now under discussion in the General Assembly would constitute fundamental tax reform, but will not prevent state government from funding core public services such as public schools and universities. They will, however, increase job creation and economic growth.


(6.17.13) The Best Solution From Both Budgets: “Reverse Logrolling” shows the best option for government spending and tax reform

The Reverse Logrolling applied to the current state budget would result in a General Fund budget of $20.6 billion in the first year and $20.8 in the second, leaving surpluses of approximately $590 million in the first year and $940 million in the second year without tax reform adjustments.


(6.05.13) Not Written in Stone: How sunset laws can improve North Carolina’s regulatory climate

Overregulation is a well-recognized problem by members of both political parties and imposes significant costs on the economy through deadweight loss. A stronger form of periodic review, sunsetting is having government regulations, programs, and agencies conclude after a set period of time unless positive action is taken by the government to reauthorize them.


(5.29.13) The Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina: Medicaid Reform that Works for Patients, Providers, and Taxpayers Alike

The Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina infuses the Medicaid program with winning market-based strategies of competition, accountability, transparency and a common-sense funding structure. Although policymakers should explore additional ways to make the Governor’s proposal even stronger, the Partnership for a Healthy North Carolina represents a major step forward in transforming Medicaid into an affordable and successful health care safety net.


(5.22.13) Exorcising Excise Taxes: Bringing Transparency to Hidden Taxes

North Carolina excise taxes generated $2.4 billion in revenue in FY2011, amounting to 13 percent of total tax revenue collected. They are used to manipulate choices freely made by taxpayers.


(5.20.13) Health Care's New Prescription: The Power To Heal Through Consumer-Driven Medicaid

Medicaid’s ineffective utilization of its unpredictable budget has left the state facing a budget overrun of more than $248 million. Consumer-driven Medicaid reform emphasizes principles of choice, competition, and fiscal responsibility for beneficiaries and providers, giving patients would be able to choose benefits and services that best fit their medical needs from multiple health plans with defined block grants.


(5.16.13) Goodbye, Grammar: N.C.’s Common Core-based English tests disregard grammar, spelling, mechanics, and usage

Contrary to the Common Core State Standards themselves, Common Core-based tests developed by the NC DPI include relatively few English language questions and no traditional grammar, spelling, mechanics, or usage questions. Legislators and the members of the State Board of Education should ensure that the state adopts a testing program that places a greater emphasis on these areas.


(4.22.13) By The Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties FY 2011

Counties and towns are critical levels of government in North Carolina, providing or administering many services while taking in billions of dollars of revenue. This is especially true as the state government has increasingly shifted more taxing authority to localities to make up for money kept by the state. While the importance of county and municipal government is great, obtaining comparative data is difficult. To help address this problem, By The Numbers provides information on how much local government costs in every city and county in North Carolina.


(4.17.13) Budget for Growth: JLF plan redirects funds, cuts taxes to create jobs

For the last 30 years North Carolina has seen spending grow three times faster than population and inflation. The bottom-line spending figure for JLF’s 2013-14 General Fund budget plan is $20.1 billion, $490 million less than the governor’s proposal. In the second year of the two-year budget plan, JLF’s proposal would spend $560 million less than McCrory’s plan. This budget offers 19 specific policy recommendations in K-12 education, early childhood programs, public safety, Medicaid, transportation, and state employee benefits.


(4.16.13) COPs Evade Voter Scrutiny: Taxpayers on the hook for special indebtedness

The last statewide General Obligation Bond referendum was held in 2000; all debt since then has been issued without voter approval, making special indebtedness the sole form of debt in North Carolina since 2001. Special Indebtedness is more expensive than traditional General Obligation debt, thus creating a larger burden on taxpayers. Certificates of Participation (COPs) are the most favored form of special indebtedness.


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