• Research Report

    Truth or Consequences: Official Data Tell Real Story about NC Fiscal Woes

    posted April 16, 2002 by John Hood
    In recent months, public officials have made a range of statements in an attempt to explain persistent state and local budget woes. Many of these assertions do not square with the facts. A collection of graphs and tables shows clearly that North Carolina government is out of line with neighboring states in spending, employment, and taxes. Moreover, revenue growth outpaced personal income growth during the 1990s, while debt service costs are projected to triple over 10 years.
  • Research Report

    Will It Be Sami So-So? Caution Warranted on New Air-Quality Studies

    posted January 27, 2002 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    The Southern Appalachian Mountain Initiative (SAMI) is a consortium of eight Southeastern states, including North Carolina, and several federal agencies. It is now beginning to publish its research, more than a decade in the making, and will likely help to shape the debate on air quality for years. State policymakers should be cautious in interpreting SAMI data and analyses, however, due to troubling signs that it may not be looking at both sides of the regulatory equation.
  • Research Report

    Clearing the Air: AlA’s Misleading Attack on NC Air Quality

    posted May 22, 2001 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    The American Lung Association's recent report on ozone fueled a media frenzy in North Carolina, with repeated suggestions that the air in the Triangle and Charlotte was "more polluted than New York City's." The truth is far different. Due to a misleading grading system and a faulty and selective reading of data, the ALA report provides little useful information to North Carolinians about the quality of the air they breathe, and falsely suggests that pollution is increasing.
  • Research Report

    Height of Irresponsibility: Governor’s 2001 Budget Hikes Debt, Possibly Taxes

    posted May 16, 2001 by John Hood
    For all the talk of a fiscal crisis this year and the need to tighten the belt of state government, Gov. Jim Hunt's proposed adjustments to the FY 2000-01 budget would hike General Fund operating spending by nearly 7 percent, vastly increase state debt, and deplete state savings accounts for many years to come. The budget also contains many new items of questionable merit. North Carolinians should not be surprised to see sizable tax increases in the future as a result.
  • Research Report

    Bonds Would Double Debt: Taxpayers At Risk From Dramatic Rise in Spending

    posted May 9, 2001 by Thomas Paul De Witt
    Responding to calls for billions of dollars for capital needs in the UNC and community college systems, legislative leaders are considering asking voters to approve a $3.1 billion bond referendum this November. Because the bonds would more than double the state's debt burden and generate a debt service budget approaching $600 million in four years, taxpayers have little reason to believe that a bond issue of that size won't result in tax increases in the future.

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