posted March 3, 2009 by Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
This report documents the change in locally generated revenues of 98 North Carolina counties* and the 30 largest N.C. cities between 2002 and 2007. Locally generated revenues increased faster than population and inflation in 96 of 98 counties and 24 of 30 cities. In Union County, revenue increased 48 percent faster than population and inflation over five years. For that reason, many counties and cities are having financial difficulties because they have spent taxpayer revenues on unnecessary or low-priority projects.
posted October 19, 2008 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
The Onslow County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies almost $36.7 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — more than nine times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.
posted October 9, 2008 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
The Cherokee County commissioners are asking voters to approve a sales-tax increase on November 4. This report identifies nearly $10 million in revenue and savings the county could use to meet its needs — over 11 times the amount that the proposed tax increase would produce.
Although many Raleigh and Wake County taxpayers do not realize it, city and county officials knew from the beginning that the new Raleigh Convention Center would require taxpayers to pay for large operational losses and even pay large subsidies to organizations to use the facility. Even before the doors open on September 5, the losses and subsidies have begun to mount.
Energy-efficiency programs generally have many of the same problems as Duke Energy’s heavily criticized Save-A-Watt program. Energy-efficiency programs force consumers to pay an extra hidden tax on their utility bills to subsidize financial incentives for the purchase of energy-efficient goods and services.
Our public schools are struggling to meet the needs of special-needs students throughout North Carolina. During 2006-07 school year, less than 50 percent of high-school students with disabilities graduated in four years. A legislative analysis found that the state would save at least $3 million a year in the cost of educating special-needs students, so long as at least five percent of the special-needs students in public schools transfer to a private provider or facility.
The Legislative Commission on Global Climate Change’s work expired in April 2008. The legislature currently is considering the extension of the commission’s work. A commission to study global climate change can serve a vital purpose, but unfortunately this commission has failed miserably.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) operates 11 coal-fired power plants in the southeastern United States. These plants emit nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), which contribute to particulate matter (PM) and ozone in the eastern U.S., including North Carolina.
posted May 12, 2008 by Geoff Lawrence, Daren Bakst
Low-cost energy is not only critical to the economy, but also to our health, safety, and general welfare. Despite concerns over energy prices, policymakers are intentionally increasing energy prices through new taxes and regulations.
posted April 30, 2008 by Alfonso Sanchez-Penalver, David G. Tuerck, Paul Bachman, Michael Head
The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, Mass., reviews policies under consideration in North Carolina to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Supporters contend those policies would help North Carolina respond to climate change. Supporters also contend the policies would produce positive economic benefits.
This report rebuts the advocates’ economic arguments. Beacon Hill Institute researchers find “serious methodological flaws” in the documents used to justify the climate change policies.
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