• Research Report

    A Question of Trust: Alamance County commissioners don’t trust voters; can voters trust them?

    posted October 11, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
    Alamance County commissioners are asking county voters to approve a $2.4 million tax increase at a time of high unemployment. This amount is equal to a property tax increase of 1.9 cents per hundred dollars of value. The three commissioners who supported the tax hike rejected a public hearing on the referendum.
  • Research Report

    Tax Hike in Person Would Be Bad for Small Business: Three of Five Commissioners Agree

    posted October 10, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
    Person County commissioners are asking county voters to approve a $675,000 tax increase at a time of high unemployment. This amount is equal to a property tax increase of 1.8 cents per hundred dollars of value. The commissioners voted 3-to-2 to put the tax increase to a vote of the people, but three commissioners expressed concerns that this tax increase would harm Person County small businesses during this weak economy.
  • Research Report

    An Unnecessary Tax Hike: Bladen commissioners go back on their ‘No Tax Increase’ promise

    posted October 6, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
    Bladen county commissioners are asking voters to approve a $375,000 tax increase. Commissioners are asking for a tax increase while ignoring the county manager’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget that fulfills the commissioners’ “No Tax Increase” pledge. Bladen County schools have adequate funding from federal, state, and lottery sources; in fact, federal funds alone bring in three times the amount received from the tax increase.
  • Research Report

    Third Time’s Not the Charm: Guilford County still needs better spending, not higher taxes

    posted October 5, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
    Guilford county commissioners are asking for an $11.6 million tax increase at a time of high unemployment. In 2008, they twice asked voters to pass a tax increase, but by large majorities, the voters turned them down. To illustrate the commissioner’s inability to manage spending and the debt, the county will exceed its debt guideline every year from 2012 to 2016.
  • Research Report

    Orange Crush: Tax hike would crush taxpayers and county economy

    posted October 4, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
    Orange County commissioners are asking voters for a $2.3 million tax increase at a time of high unemployment. Since the special county taxing authority was established by the legislature in 2007, voters have turned down 68 of 85 requests for tax increases, sending the message that county commissioners must be more responsible stewards of taxpayers’ hard-earned money.
  • Research Report

    The Pill Police: North Carolina law enforcement has access to private health records

    posted September 29, 2010 by Daren Bakst
    There has been significant public attention and concern regarding a proposal by the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association that would allow sheriffs to have access to patients' prescription information for painkillers and controlled substances. The bigger issue is that the state already collects this information and law enforcement, specifically the State Bureau of Investigation, already has access to it. North Carolina should eliminate the database. The incredible intrusion into the lives of citizens greatly outweighs its limited, if any, benefit.
  • Research Report

    Public Transit in North Carolina

    posted September 15, 2010 by Randal O’Toole
    North Carolina highway users are subsidizing other programs at the rate of slightly more than a penny per passenger mile. The total cost of driving in North Carolina is no more than 22 cents per passenger mile. By comparison, the state average cost of public transit is $1.15 per passenger mile, nearly $1 of which is subsidized by non-transit users. Driving is more energy efficient and produces less carbon emissions than almost any transit system in North Carolina.
  • Research Report

    Lotteries and Economic Incentives: Governments need better tools to evaluate tax breaks

    posted September 6, 2010 by Joseph Coletti
    Business incentives are like lottery tickets, providing big rewards for governments if you don’t count the costs. Iredell County modeled the financial costs and benefits of an incentive offered in 2009 and showed a positive net present value for the incentives, but neglected to factor in the opportunity cost of forgoing the next best use for the funds and the likelihood the investment would have happened without an incentive.
  • Research Report

    Costs of Nuclear vs. Solar: It’s No Contest

    posted August 31, 2010 by Patrick Michaels, Dr. Carlo Stagnaro, Daren Bakst
    A study by the North Carolina Waste Awareness Network (NC WARN), an anti–nuclear power advocacy group, argues that solar power today is less expensive than nuclear power. Media have embraced this study despite its absurd conclusion and its arbitrary use of subsidies in calculating the costs of competing energy sources.
  • Research Report

    Deregulating Health Insurance and Health Providers in North Carolina

    posted August 24, 2010 by Joseph Coletti
    North Carolina policymakers should eliminate provider licensing, certificate-of-need laws, and mandated health insurance benefits. Short of this, the state can accept alternative forms of credentialing and ensure consumers have the right to purchase optional benefits at additional cost. These regulations limit access to health care providers and health insurance by artificially constraining markets.

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