JLF Research Archive
Showing items 276 to 300 of 519
What follows is the minority report I submitted to the Wake County Citizens’ Facilities Advisory Committee on Thursday, September 13, 2007. Although I am a member of that committee, the chairs of the committee, John Mabe and Billie Redmond, denied my request to have this report included with the final committee report.
In the era of No Child Left Behind, students have not been discouraged from enrolling in courses other than language arts and mathematics. Both the number of class periods and the number of students enrolled in most courses has increased in concert with enrollment growth. Nevertheless, elementary foreign languages and middle school health and physical education courses have been on the decline.
Counties across the state are adopting Adequate Public Facilities Ordinances (APFOs) that require homebuilders to pay fees of up to $14,953 for each new home built.1 County commissioners favoring these ordinances argue that they allow public services to keep pace with population growth. Opponents believe that APFOs actually place an unfair burden on homebuilders and homebuyers because APFOs can significantly increase home prices.
Gov. Mike Easley and the General Assembly continue the spend-and-tax cycle, increasing the General Fund $1.8 billion, 9.5 percent, over last year. General Fund spending on operations reaches $20.7 billion in FY 2007-08, a 43 percent increase in just five years, similar to the five-year period through FY1997-98.
The legislature passed a law, SB 3, which would require North Carolinians to pay for electricity used by out-of-state residents. SB 3, which is the new, hastily drafted energy bill, was touted as requiring utilities to provide at least 7.5% of their electricity from renewable resources. However, North Carolinians likely will not be the recipient of a significant amount of this electricity.
There is no consistent relationship between in-school instructional time in mathematics and a nation’s average score on an international mathematics test. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University concluded that there was no statistically significant correlation between instructional time in math, science, reading, and civics and test scores on international assessments of those subjects.
North Carolina is headed toward imposing major new regulations and taxes on the consumption and production of energy, all in the name of fighting global warming. But the climate hysteria on which they are based has nothing to do with reality. Whatever the risks of future climate change, they pale in comparison to the risks of the “wrenching transformation” sought by climate alarmists.
North Carolina’s 2001 mental health reform was ambitious and well intentioned but flawed.
Many proven ideas did not make the final version of reform and lawmakers immediately raided the mental health trust fund to cover a General Fund fiscal crisis in 2001.
North Carolina faces estimates of nearly $10 billion in school facilities needs over the next five years. Since 2000, school choice saved taxpayers over $20 million a year in annual capital expenses. Over the last six years, the yearly capital savings totaled nearly $125 million.
The Senate has passed a major electricity bill that includes something called a renewable energy and energy efficiency portfolio standard (REPS). The REPS consists of two separate requirements: A renewable portfolio standard that requires utilities to provide customers 7.5 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and energy efficiency measures that require a 5 percent reduction in energy use.
The Senate fiscal year 2007-08 budget would have spent $1.3 billion (7.1 percent) more on operations than the previous year, plus another $1.2 billion in new debt.
The Senate would have allowed the 8.0 percent personal income tax bracket and the extra quarter-cent sales tax to expire as current law requires.
Municipalities legally can acquire unincorporated areas next to their borders without the consent of the residents living in those areas. This process, called forced annexation, was supposed to promote sound urban development in areas that need municipal services. Instead, it has created a system in which cities ignore the areas most in need of annexation. Even worse, forced annexation is undemocratic and has contributed to the exclusion of minorities from municipalities. Forced annexation needs to be eliminated immediately, and significant annexation reform needs to be adopted.
There are three new proposals that would impose hundreds of millions of dollars in new taxes on North Carolinians in the name of fighting global warming. None of these proposals are actually called taxes.
North Carolina is among the 26 states that have a maximum compulsory age of 16. Among the 50 states and D.C., there is no consistent relationship between the maximum compulsory age and graduation and dropout rates.
House members approved a $20.3 billion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2007-08, up 7.6 percent from FY 2006-07; 1.5 times the 5.1 percent combined rate of inflation and population growth.
Proposed spending is $1.4 billion ($158 per person or $632 for a family of four) higher than in FY 2006-07. Nearly all of the increase is in K-12 education, even though dropout rates have been increasing.
Over the past four years, Burlington’s city owned and operated golf course experienced operational losses of nearly $700,000. The city unfairly competes with 14 private courses in the area.
Eminent domain refers to the government’s power to seize private property without the consent of owners. In 2005, the United States Supreme Court, in the now infamous case of Kelo v. City of New London, held that the government could seize private property solely for economic development reasons. This policy report explains why North Carolina Needs a Constitutional Amendment to prevent such takings.
For many years, charter-school research has almost exclusively focused on the issue of academic performance. While this issue deserves attention, research indicates that parents choose charter schools based, not on one factor, but on a number of factors related to the schools' social and academic environments.
Over the past five years, Wilson’s city owned and operated golf course experienced operational losses of over $1 million. The city unfairly competes with eight private courses in the area.
Freedom Budget 2007 continues the tradition of John Locke Foundation alternative budgets that revise the governor’s Continuation and Expansion budgets.
North Carolina’s air quality is worth celebrating. Despite scare tactics from environmental advocates, N.C.’s air is cleaner than ever and only getting better. The EPA monitors six common air pollutants. It is clear that across the board, N.C.’s air is doing extremely well in relation to all of these pollutants.
Property tax rates, unemployment, and poverty rates are the best guides to a county’s lottery sales per adult. Neither personal nor household income was associated with a county’s level of lottery sales per adult.
Traffic congestion is defined as the delay in urban travel caused by the presence of other vehicles. This study reviews traffic congestion in each of North Carolina's 17 metropolitan regions. The study determines the magnitude of present and future traffic congestion; the extent to which present plans will relieve or merely slow the growth of congestion; how traffic congestion affects the state's economy; and actions for significantly reducing congestion in the future.
Charlotte’s half-cent sales tax for transit, passed in 1998, has allowed the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) to become one of the least efficient bus systems in the state. Ridership increased 52 percent, but operating costs increased 234 percent from 1997 to 2005.
Over the past seven years, Lexington’s city owned and operated golf course experienced operational losses of over $1.3 million. The city unfairly competes with 18 private courses in the area.