JLF Research Archive

Spending & Taxes

Showing items 26 to 50 of 231

(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.

(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.

(8.27.12) The Amazon Tax That Was Not: North Carolina’s Attempt to Expand Sales Taxation Beyond Its Borders

North Carolina has an Amazon tax, which categorizes out-of-state firms as in-state, and thereby liable for sales tax, under certain conditions. However, the tax has not proved effective at increasing revenues, it does not level the playing field, and it may drive firms out of the state.

(7.18.12) Carolina Cronyism: Introduction, Overview, and Reforms

Cronyism is an umbrella term covering a host of government activities by which an industry or even a single firm or speculator is given favors and support that they could not attain in market competition. This report explains what opens government to cronyism, gives a brief rundown of recent examples of cronyism in North Carolina, and offers several possible reforms.

(7.18.12) N.C.'s Film Tax Incentives: Good Old-Fashioned Corporate Welfare

Once a popular off-Hollywood venue for filmmakers before state film tax incentives, North Carolina is now one of the leaders in a race to the bottom among other states and nations in giveaways to movie production companies. The incentives show that state leaders know that lower taxes and regulations attract industry. So why play favorites with industries? Why not just lower taxes and regulations altogether?

(6.28.12) One Way Street for Spending Adjustments: Reverse Logrolling Offers an Alternative

The General Fund portion of North Carolina’s $51.7 billion state budget for 2013 is now $20.18 billion, which exceeds planned spending as passed in 2011. All of this year’s General Fund proposals from the House, Senate, and governor have been for more spending than planned. By taking the lower cost of each General Fund component from the House and Senate proposals — “reverse logrolling” — with a couple of exceptions, one could achieve a General Fund total of $19.85 billion. That would save $330 million from the enacted General Fund and $87 million from last year’s plan.

(5.08.12) 2012 State Spending at a Record High: Albeit Concealed, State Spending Has Grown For Decades

Total state spending per capita is at its highest level ever in the 2012 fiscal year and has more than tripled since 1970. Over the past four decades, state spending has grown much faster than personal income, and in real, per capita terms, spending on all reported categories has more than doubled since the mid-1970s. That includes education, corrections, health and human services, transportation, and debt servicing. General fund spending per capita has declined by 16 percent since 2009, but per capita spending outside of the general fund increased by 26 percent and more than compensated for the general fund’s decline. Federal aid continues to comprise an ever-larger portion of the state budget, and North Carolina’s cash-basis accounting conceals spending and is generating unfunded liabilities

(4.03.12) The Consumed Income Tax: Efficient and Fair Tax Reform for North Carolina

North Carolina’s state income tax penalizes people’s income generating activities, those that lead to the production of goods and services and spur economic growth. By reducing the rewards to all income-generating activity — work, saving, and investment — the income tax discourages those activities relative to non-income generating activities — leisure and consumption. The tax that should be adopted as a replacement for the existing income tax is what is called a “flat rate consumed income tax.”

(2.28.12) By the Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties FY 2010

County and municipal governments provide many key services while taking in billions of dollars in revenue, but finding comparative data is hard. That's why this report provides information of how much local government costs in every city and county in North Carolina.

(1.31.12) Review of the Wake County Transit Plan

The draft Wake County Transit Plan, released in November 2011, proposes a doubling of bus service, new commuter rail service between East Garner and Durham, and light rail service between Cary and northeast Raleigh. The expanded service is proposed to be funded by a 1⁄2-cent sales tax, a $10 increase in vehicle registration fees, increased vehicle rental fees, transit bonds, state and federal funds, and rider fares. The estimated cost of the expanded bus and commuter rail plan is $2.8 B, and the full plan (including light rail) $4.6 billion through 2040.

(1.13.12) First, Stop the Bleeding: Getting North Carolina Out of Its Unemployment Insurance Crisis

North Carolina’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) administrators have vastly outspent revenues and generated a debt of $2.6 billion with the federal government—the third-highest in the nation, on a per-capita basis. This report proposes five ways for legislators to address this rapidly growing problem.

(11.08.11) The Corporate Income Tax: Repeal, Not Reform

North Carolina's corporate income tax should be repealed, not reformed. It violates all basic principles of sound economic policy and open government. It not only imposes a second and even a third layer taxation on many people’s incomes, but it is hidden, dishonest, and inconsistent with informed decision making in a free and democratic society.

(11.01.11) A Quarter-Million More for Montgomery? Secretive county seeks a third tax increase in three years

Montgomery County commissioners have raised the property tax by nine cents over the last three years, from 58 cents to 67 cents per $100 valuation — a 15.5 percent increase. Now the commissioners want voters to approve a quarter-cent sales-tax increase worth an estimated $250,000.

(10.19.11) Durham’s Tale of Two Tax Increases: County seeks $26.5 million’s worth of sales-tax hikes for schools and transit

Durham County commissioners are asking voters to approve two sales-tax increases on November 8. The requested increases would amount to $26.5 million per year in new tax revenues. This request comes amid news that state unemployment has been above 9 percent since January 2009 and is currently 10.4 percent.

(10.12.11) Orange Crush Revisited: County commissioners ask voters a third time for a tax increase

Orange County commissioners are asking voters for a $2.5 million sales-tax increase at a time of high unemployment. Twice before Orange County voters rejected tax increases. Just last November, rural county voters rejected a sales-tax increase by 2 to 1. The ballot offers nothing else for rural voters this time around, while urban voters also must pick candidates for city offices. Commissioners' hopes for a tax increase may hinge on low rural turnout.

(9.14.11) A Blank Check for Buncombe: County commissioners ask voters for a sales-tax increase

Buncombe County commissioners seek voter approval of a sales-tax hike, promising that the $7 million that would be raised would be given to AB Tech for a new building and renovations,. The funds would go into the county’s general fund, however and could be spent on any legal purpose.

(6.21.11) An overriding budget: FY 2011-13 budget review

The General Assembly's no-tax-hike budget sets North Carolina state government on a more sustainable course than the one Gov. Beverly Perdue and her allies supported. It avoids an $850 million tax increase Gov. Bev Perdue sought, which means $200 less in taxes per household. General Fund spending totals $19.5 billion, two percent less than Gov. Perdue's original, $19.9 billion proposal.

(5.10.11) Taxers’ Choice in Cabarrus: If the sales-tax increase fails, county threatens to hike property taxes

Commissioners of debt-ridden Cabarrus County want taxpayers to bail them out by approving a quarter-cent sales tax increase on May 17. If the voters do not approve the tax increase, commissioners threaten to hit them with a 2.2-cent property tax increase.

(5.09.11) An Economic Analysis of State Tax Changes in North Carolina

The John Locke Foundation asked The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University (BHI) to use its North Carolina State Tax Analysis Modeling Program (NC-STAMP®) to analyze three state tax proposals. The tax changes would provide a powerful stimulus to the North Carolina economy. Employment would increase by 14,922 in 2012, and when fully implemented in 2013 would create 17,016 by leaving more money in the hands of the state’s households and businesses. The combination of individual income tax and sales tax changes would increase real disposable income by $1.1 billion in 2012 and $1.6 billion in 2013. (Revised May 10, 2011)

(3.15.11) By the Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties FY 2009

County and municipal governments provide many key services while taking in billions of dollars in revenue, but finding comparative data is hard. That's why this report provides information of how much local government costs in every city and county in North Carolina.

(2.21.11) Protecting Families and Businesses: A Plan for Fiscal Balance and Economic Growth

This budget proposal would spend $18.4 billion and return spending to the same levels, adjusted for population and inflation, as in the mid-1990s. In addition to ending the temporary sales tax and income tax surcharges, this budget would reduce the tax rates on personal and corporate income, setting the stage for future tax reform.

(2.02.11) Just Not Worth the Gamble: The NC Education Lottery's many problems have a common solution

The North Carolina Education Lottery was sold as a way to boost education spending, but N.C. boasts the same problem found in other lottery states: a declining rate of spending for education, especially in comparison with the rest of the state budget. Furthermore, poverty, unemployment, and property tax rates remain the best predictors of lottery sales.

(11.12.10) The First 100 Days: Eleven Action Items for the 2011 Legislative Session

This report highlights eleven action items that North Carolina’s new General Assembly should seek to implement in the first 100 days of the 2011 legislative session. These items touch upon a cross section of public policy areas, including education, economic development, property rights, energy and the environment, health care, the budget, and transparency. We at the John Locke Foundation believe that these items represent straightforward actions that would greatly enhance the liberty and prosperity of North Carolina’s citizens.

Who Is John Locke

JLF Network Websites & Blogs