• John Locke Update

    Four Key Differences Between the House, Senate, and Cooper Budget Plans

    posted September 13, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The North Carolina General Assembly is still finalizing a two-year budget. Budget proposals from the House, Senate, and governor would have varying effects on North Carolina’s fiscal future. Spending restraint, tax cuts, and considerable savings would contribute to more opportunities and bigger paychecks for North Carolina families.
  • John Locke Update

    A “Record” Year in Film Shows the Wisdom in Limiting Film Grants

    posted September 2, 2021 by Jon Sanders
    North Carolina reportedly had a record year of investment in film productions in 2021 despite having a cap on its film grant, a seemingly counterintuitive result that's consistent with research on film incentives. Owing to so many other factors influencing film productions, research has found film incentives have diminishing returns and argued for strictly limiting the incentives even if they're to grow the film industry as opposed to the state's economy. Research also finds that film incentives fail at growing a state's economy, returning only cents per dollar of tax credit or grant given.
  • John Locke Update

    House Budget Plan Features Tax Cuts, Assertive Infrastructure Spending, and Pay Raises

    posted August 11, 2021 by Paige Terryberry
    The House budget plan, per previous agreement, would spend about the same total amount as the Senate plan. Differences exist, however, primarily with a less aggressive tax cut plan and more aggressive pay raises to teachers and state employees. Similar to the Senate plan, the House proposal would set aside significant funds in the Savings Reserve and Capital Infrastructure funds.
  • John Locke Update

    North Carolina Has More Covid Cash Than It Can Use

    posted May 21, 2021 by Joseph Coletti
    State government prioritized spending federal Covid money over knowing that the money is accomplishing a goal. Cooper and legislators have time to make future expenditures more accountable. With $13.6 billion in federal funds still available and the worst of the pandemic behind us, the best course is to return the money.
  • John Locke Update

    Now is not the time for new programs or debt

    posted January 27, 2021 by Joseph Coletti
    An uncertain economic time is not good for borrowing. If the state takes out debt and the post-COVID economy turns out to be smaller, then debt capacity will shrink and the debt will end up taking more from other priorities. If the economy recovers quickly, then the state would have more money available for capital anyway.
  • John Locke Update

    State revenue picture continues to improve

    posted November 23, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    North Carolina state government continued to have strong finances seven months after the economy first began to slow in March. Budget writers should nevertheless be cautious about adding spending commitments, however.
  • John Locke Update

    Tame spending now or be forced to cut it later

    posted November 9, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    As Milton Friedman often remarked, the bill always comes due. Today’s spending must be paid by taxes, regardless whether those taxes were collected in the past, are collected this year, or will be collected in the future.
  • John Locke Update

    Election 2020: Local bond and tax ballot questions

    posted October 21, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    The middle of an economic and public health crisis, when people are worried if they will still have work in December and the federal budget deficit is in excess of…

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