• Research Report

    Raleigh Convention Center: Throwing good money after bad

    posted February 12, 2012 by Kevin Munger, Dr. Michael Sanera
    This report examines 52 contracts signed by the Raleigh Convention Center for the period of July–December 2011 and is a follow-up to the September 2008 John Locke Foundation report “The New Raleigh Convention Center: A taxpayer-funded money pit.”
  • Research Report

    Review of the Wake County Transit Plan

    posted January 30, 2012 by Thomas A. Rubin, Dr. David Hartgen
    The draft Wake County Transit Plan, released in November 2011, proposes a doubling of bus service, new commuter rail service between East Garner and Durham, and light rail service between Cary and northeast Raleigh. The expanded service is proposed to be funded by a 1⁄2-cent sales tax, a $10 increase in vehicle registration fees, increased vehicle rental fees, transit bonds, state and federal funds, and rider fares. The estimated cost of the expanded bus and commuter rail plan is $2.8 B, and the full plan (including light rail) $4.6 billion through 2040.
  • Research Report

    First Annual North Carolina County Privatization Survey

    posted November 9, 2011 by Kevin Munger, Dr. Michael Sanera
    County governments all over North Carolina are saving money by privatizing services. In an effort to assist in the exchange of information about these activities, the John Locke Foundation conducted a survey of all 100 counties asking county managers to tell us about governmental activities that they currently supply privately. We also asked them if they had problems in the past with a privatized activity that had caused them to return the activity to government provision.
  • Research Report

    Durham’s Tale of Two Tax Increases: County seeks $26.5 million’s worth of sales-tax hikes for schools and transit

    posted October 18, 2011 by Fergus Hodgson, Dr. Terry Stoops, Dr. Michael Sanera, Daren Bakst
    Durham County commissioners are asking voters to approve two sales-tax increases on November 8. The requested increases would amount to $26.5 million per year in new tax revenues. This request comes amid news that state unemployment has been above 9 percent since January 2009 and is currently 10.4 percent.
  • Research Report

    Orange Crush Revisited: County commissioners ask voters a third time for a tax increase

    posted October 11, 2011 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Dr. Michael Sanera
    Orange County commissioners are asking voters for a $2.5 million sales-tax increase at a time of high unemployment. Twice before Orange County voters rejected tax increases. Just last November, rural county voters rejected a sales-tax increase by 2 to 1. The ballot offers nothing else for rural voters this time around, while urban voters also must pick candidates for city offices. Commissioners' hopes for a tax increase may hinge on low rural turnout.
  • Research Report

    A Blank Check for Buncombe: County commissioners ask voters for a sales-tax increase

    posted September 13, 2011 by Dr. Michael Sanera
    Buncombe County commissioners seek voter approval of a sales-tax hike, promising that the $7 million that would be raised would be given to AB Tech for a new building and renovations,. The funds would go into the county’s general fund, however and could be spent on any legal purpose.
  • Research Report

    Reforming North Carolina’s Medicaid Program

    posted May 8, 2011 by Brian Blase, C.L. Gray
    Medicaid is a national problem, not just a state problem. All states are faced with the same incentive to grow their Medicaid programs because of the federal match. Unsustainable Medicaid spending is exacerbating the debt crisis at the federal level. It is paramount that state policymakers put pressure on Washington to reform Medicaid and willingly trade the open-ended federal reimbursement of state spending for freedom from federal roadblocks to make common-sense reforms to their programs.

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