posted August 17, 2010 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
Watauga County commissioners want voters to approve a $1.9 million sales tax increase to build new recreational facilities. If past is prologue, this new money will not be spent wisely. Watauga County commissioners recently approved the most expensive high school ever built in the state, and they did so without a vote of taxpayers.
The final budget for fiscal year 2011 spends $20.56 billion, $153 million more than the budget for fiscal year 2010. General fund availability in fiscal year 2011 excluding federal funds is $17 million less than was available in fiscal year 2010. A $7 billion shortfall (accounting for federal bailout funds, temporary taxes, pensions and retiree health benefits, etc.) in a $20 billion General Fund requires fundamental reform of state government.
The North Carolina General Assembly is considering a bill (HB 1403) that would require law enforcement agencies to collect DNA samples from individuals arrested for certain felonies. Such a law would overturn the time-honored principle of innocent before proven guilty.
On February 1, 2010, the North Carolina Commission for Public Health published a proposed rule addressing whether pets may be allowed in restaurants. Not unlike the smoking ban, whether pets are allowed in restaurants is a property rights issue.
posted March 4, 2010 by Kamen Nikolaev, Dr. Roy Cordato
In 2002 the State of North Carolina passed what was officially titled “Improve Air Quality/Electric Utilities,” which became better known as the Clean Smokestacks Bill (CSB). When the CSB was passed in 2002, it was estimated to cost $2.3 billion.
The excessive regulatory power allowed by North Carolina imposes great costs on its citizens and businesses and hurts the economic competitiveness of the state. This report identifies seven reforms that North Carolina should adopt to improve the regulatory environment in the state.
In 2004, the legislature went too far in passing a complete and permanent ban on gun possession by all ex-felons. In August 2009, the North Carolina Supreme Court in Britt v. North Carolina held that those changes were unconstitutional as applied to the plaintiff, Barney Britt.
In North Carolina, the government can invoke eminent domain and seize private property even if reasonable alternatives exist to using this power. A recent Senate bill (SB 600) would allow conservation easement holders to challenge takings in court by requiring the government to prove that no prudent and feasible alternatives exist to condemnation of properties encumbered by conservation easements.
According to the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina, only a handful of fast-growing occupations require a four-year degree. A U.S. Department of Education report found that North Carolina devotes a relatively small share of its resources to vocational schools.
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.
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