• Research Report

    Sidetracked: Transit and Transportation Policy in North Carolina

    posted March 31, 2001 by Michael Lowrey, John Hood
    Co-authors Michael Lowrey and Jonathan C. Jordan examine North Carolina transportation policy and recommend ways of improving it without resorting to more taxation, regulation, and government control. (38 pages-not available online.)
  • Research Report

    Triage for Medicaid

    posted March 6, 2001 by John Hood
    Among the major causes of this year's $800 million state budget deficit is a $108 million increase in projected Medicaid spending. After a brief period of slow growth in the late-1990s, North Carolina's Medicaid program is now a significant threat to the state's long-term fiscal health. It is also the most expensive Medicaid program in the South. The state should enact reforms in eligibility and benefits which could save taxpayers at least $251 million a year.
  • Research Report

    Facts on School Equity: Full Accounting Nearly Eliminates Supposed Gap

    posted March 5, 2001 by John Hood
    State policymakers are considering a $43 million request for additional funding for poor school districts and awaiting the resolution of the Leandro school finance case. They should keep in mind that funding disparities among North Carolina school districts are minor due to their primary reliance on state rather than local taxes. Indeed, in inflation-adjusted spending per pupil, the state's 25 poorest districts are better funded today than the 25 richest districts were 11 years ago.
  • Research Report

    A Costly Tax: State Lottery is Inefficient Way to Collect Revenue

    posted February 26, 2001 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Policymakers should think carefully about the administrative costs of raising revenue through a state lottery. In effect, the state would be legalizing gambling, establishing a state monopoly on it, and then taxing gross sales at a 33 percent rate. The cost per dollar collected of this lottery tax would be 20 to 50 times greater than the cost of raising rates for other state taxes that already exist. The best course for the state is not to raise taxes at all but to reduce the size of government.
  • Research Report

    Reach for the STARS: A New Education Reform Plan for North Carolina

    posted January 31, 2001 by John Hood
    Education reform in North Carolina has a long history, but has shown mixed results at best. Despite recent improvements in some test scores, the state's public schools still deliver poor-quality services at excessive cost to large segments of the student population. Under the state's new ABC plan, nearly half of all public schools in 1996-97 failed to provide a year's worth of educational progress for a year's schooling. Only 26 percent of N.C. 4th-graders are proficient in reading and 21 percent are proficient in math.
  • Research Report

    Robin Hood In Reverse: State Lottery for College Aid Would Be Unfair

    posted January 16, 1999 by John Hood
    As state leaders debate yet another proposal for a state lottery this year, they should consider the equity issues raised by using proceeds to fund college scholarships, as done in Georgia and proposed in previous N.C. bills. The family income of freshmen entering a UNC system school averaged $55,000 in 1997, while the median income of UNC-Chapel Hill freshmen was about $75,000.1 By comparison, if a North Carolina lottery follows Virginia's pattern of participation, the median household income of lottery players would be only $29,000.2

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