JLF Research Archive

Showing items 151 to 175 of 512

(3.24.09) Dropout Prevention Grants: Legislators need to rethink their approach to the dropout problem

Only 14 of the 100 schools that received services from dropout prevention grant recipients had substantially lower dropout rates and higher graduation rates from the 2006-07 to the 2007-08 school year. Of the five types of recipients awarded grants, grants to non-profit organizations appeared to have the most success.


(3.16.09) Back to Basics Budget: Responsible savings and reforms

The budget proposal outlined here reduces appropriations in fiscal year (FY) 2009-10 to $18.8 billion, $2.6 billion less than the final budget for FY 2008-09, and similar to the budget for FY 2006-07. In this proposal, per-capita spending adjusted for inflation of $1,969 remains higher than in FY 1997-98 or any year before.


(3.11.09) CO2 Regulation: Will the Environmental Management Commission Ignore the Legislature?

North Carolina may for the first time begin regulating emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), an invisible, odorless gas prevalent in almost every sector of the economy and also vital to human health. The Environmental Management Commission, a state commission that adopts environmental regulations, is considering regulations that would mandate certain facilities to report their CO2 emissions. These regulations would lay the groundwork for far costlier CO2 regulations.


(3.04.09) City and County Budget Crises: When in a hole, first stop digging

This report documents the change in locally generated revenues of 98 North Carolina counties* and the 30 largest N.C. cities between 2002 and 2007. Locally generated revenues increased faster than population and inflation in 96 of 98 counties and 24 of 30 cities. In Union County, revenue increased 48 percent faster than population and inflation over five years. For that reason, many counties and cities are having financial difficulties because they have spent taxpayer revenues on unnecessary or low-priority projects.


(2.17.09) By The Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties FY 2007

County and municipal governments provide many key services while taking in billions of dollars in revenue. Their roles grow as state government keeps more local funding sources and shifts more taxing power to localities. Still, finding comparative data is hard. That's why this report provides information about how much local government costs in every city and county in North Carolina.


(2.12.09) Meaningful Services and Proper Oversight: Two Common-Sense Annexation Reforms

Even those commission members who would have wanted a proper definition of “meaningful services” had to oppose the weak definition provided to them by the legislative staff. The chair prohibited commission members from amending the definition.

The recommendation was so weak that it would have allowed municipalities forcibly to annex areas without providing water and sewer service.


(2.03.09) Annual Report on Teacher Pay: N.C. teacher compensation is more than $4,000 higher than the national average

When adjusted for pension contributions, teacher experience, and cost of living, North Carolina’s adjusted average teacher compensation is $59,252, which is $4,086 higher than the U.S. adjusted average compensation and ranks 14th highest in the nation. In a comparison of Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) states, North Carolina’s adjusted teacher compensation is $674 higher than the SREB average adjusted compensation.


(1.22.09) Forced Annexation in N.C.: A question-and-answer guide

Forced annexation is a kind of city-initiated annexation that allows municipalities unilaterally to force citizens living in unincorporated areas into the municipalities.

North Carolina has an extreme annexation law even among states classified by recent studies as forced-annexation states.


(1.14.09) Taxpayer Financing of N.C. Elections: Clearly unconstitutional after the Supreme Court decision in Davis v. FEC

In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court in a case called Davis v. Federal Elections Commission struck down a federal law that punished Congressional candidates for spending too much of their own money on their campaigns. Under that law, once personal spending exceeded a threshold level, the opposing candidate was given fundraising advantages.


(1.12.09) Does Avery need a land-transfer tax increase?

The Avery County commissioners are asking county residents to approve a sale-tax increase on February 3. This report identifies over $10 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs; more than triple the amount that the proposed land-transfer tax increase is estimated to produce.


(1.07.09) Spending Beyond Government Means: Even politicians must face fiscal truths

Tax revenue in North Carolina is volatile because of the dependence on income and sales taxes. Proper budgeting would account for the rise and fall in tax revenues over time.


(1.06.09) Wilson’s Fiber-Optic Cable Boondoggle: City Invests $28 Million in a Technology That Could Be Obsolete Before It’s Paid For

The City of Wilson’s $28 million investment in a fiber-optic cable system for Internet, phone and television could be obsolete even before it is paid for, leaving city taxpayers and electric utility users to pay the balance on the 25-year bonds.


(12.16.08) A Blueprint for Annexation Reform

Real reform of the state’s regressive annexation law does not mean getting rid of annexation generally or even city-initiated annexation. However, it should mean getting rid of the practice of forced annexation that allows municipalities to unilaterally force individuals in unincorporated areas to live within the municipalities.


(12.01.08) North Carolina's Beach Plan: Who pays for Coastal Property Insurance?

North Carolina's little-known Beach Plan imposes an enormous fiscal liability on the state. Intended largely to provide windstorm insurance for coastal residents unable to find coverage elsewhere, the Plan has grown to become one of the nation's largest entities of its type.


(11.18.08) Career and Technical Education: Meeting the needs of the 21st century economy isn’t rocket science

According to the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina, only a handful of fast-growing occupations require a four-year degree. A U.S. Department of Education report found that North Carolina devotes a relatively small share of its resources to vocational schools.


(11.18.08) Main Street, Not Jones Street: The real greed menacing North Carolina is government greed

During policy discussions, much is made of the greed of private individuals, but rarely is government greed mentioned. Government greed is the lust for power that consumes policymakers — the desire to do whatever it takes to stay in power and to give government more power. In the North Carolina legislature, government greed is alive and well. Ten policy examples discussed in this report reasonably attest to this lust for power.


(11.12.08) Chatham County’s Land Grab: A selfish elite is trying to take over 23,000 acres for their personal benefit

Chatham County’s proposed Corridor Overlay District ordinance, if adopted, represents a radical land-use plan that would allow county government to take control of over 23,000 acres of private land without financial compensation. The “Scenic Overlay” part of the ordinance would transfer over 23,000 acres of private property from private control by landowners to political control by planners and the most powerful interest group in the county.


(10.20.08) Does Anson need a sales tax increase?

The Anson County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies more than $5.8 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than 17 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.20.08) Does Caswell need a sales tax increase?

The Caswell County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies almost $4.8 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — almost 28 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.20.08) Does Onslow need a sales tax increase?

The Onslow County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies almost $36.7 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than nine times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.20.08) Does Person need a sales tax increase?

The Person County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies almost $14 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than 18 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.15.08) Mental Health Reform: Steps Toward Improvement

Mental health reform began in 2001, but has had disappointing results. This paper examines major areas of the mental health system – care management, criminal justice, provider networks, supplemental services, and payment. It offers some evolutionary steps toward improvement.


(10.14.08) Does Chowan need a sales tax increase?

The Chowan County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies almost $4.5 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than 14 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


(10.14.08) Does Polk need a land-transfer tax increase?

The Polk County commissioners are asking county residents to approve a sale-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies over $11 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — almost 12 times the amount that the proposed land-transfer tax increase is estimated to produce.


(10.10.08) Does Cherokee need a sales tax increase?

The Cherokee County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies nearly $10 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — over 11 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.


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