by Brenée Goforth
Media Manager & Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
This week, the John Locke Foundation’s Joe Coletti was quoted in a recent opinion piece in Forbes, written by Patrick Gleason. While the federal deficit is increasing, Gleason notes that states all over the country have surplus revenues. Many states are looking to pass on those surpluses to their citizens in the form of refunds. North Carolina is considering refunding our budget surplus back to taxpayers. Gleason writes:
The North Carolina Senate passed the Taxpayer Refund Act in August, which would refund about $600 million of that surplus to taxpayers. That bill now awaits consideration in the North Carolina House of Representatives, which recently approved further tax relief by overriding Governor Cooper’s budget veto.
That’s where the John Locke Foundation comes in. Gleason quotes JLF’s Joe Coletti in determining just how much surplus North Carolina could be refunding:
“After including other reserves and commitments, the opening balance for the current fiscal year is $1.7 billion,” writes Joe Coletti, a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh-based think tank. “In addition, budgeted revenue is $1.0 billion more than continuing appropriations, including debt service. That leaves $2.7 billion in cash through June 2020 that will not be spent without a new budget.”
It’s not just North Carolinians who could be seeing returns from the government soon, Gleason writes:
A South Carolina resident won a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot earlier this year, which resulted in a $61 million unexpected tax payment to the state. In response, Palmetto State lawmakers passed legislation to send that surprise windfall back to South Carolina taxpayers in the form of $50 rebate checks…
[And] In Virginia, individual taxpayers will receive “a $110 refund and married couples filing jointly will get $220 in a one-time payment to return a portion of excess state revenues collected because of changes in federal tax law in late 2017.”
Citizens of other states like Oregon, Wisconsin, and Colorado could get their tax dollars kicked back as well.
Read the full Forbes column here. Read more about the potential taxpayer refund in North Carolina from Joe Coletti here.