by Paige Terryberry
Fiscal Policy Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The General Assembly is expected to release their conference budget on Monday. The budget should do the following:
Earlier this year, state leaders in the General Assembly judiciously agreed to limit spending. North Carolina’s history of fiscal restraint allowed the state to weather the economic slowdown from Gov. Cooper’s shutdowns. A responsible budget will have limited spending to set the state up for a sustainable future.
Similarly, with a budget surplus and billions in federal relief money pouring in, there is no reason to take on new debt. Gov. Cooper’s budget recommendations, a purely political document, would add $4.7 billion of unnecessary debt to the state. This budget should add nothing to the debt.
Cutting the personal income tax would allow workers to keep more of their income. This tax cut would also make North Carolina more competitive regionally. The North Carolina Senate proposed to lower the personal income tax to 3.99% in addition to increasing the standard deduction, giving more money back to working families.
The corporate income tax is a tax on workers. Phasing out this tax would provide relief to businesses and in the end, benefit workers with higher wages, improved benefits, etc. The corporate income tax is the most harmful to economic growth and eliminating it would make North Carolina more attractive to innovators and business owners.
By expanding the Opportunity Scholarship program, more children would have the chance to go to a school that meets their needs, regardless of their zip code. Budget writers should not neglect lower-income families’ need to access their school of choice.
Though Medicaid expansion was a focal point of the last biennium budget dispute, it should be dead on arrival for this budget. Medicaid expansion is bad, fiscally irresponsible health care policy. It expands government and fails to address the systematic issues of our health care system.