Spotlight Report

Trends in North Carolina State Spending: Total state spending has grown after both inflation and per capita adjustments

posted on in Spending & Taxes
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•  Regardless of whether it is measured in nominal, per capita, or inflation-adjusted terms, state spending is increasing.
•  North Carolina’s total state budget peaked in 2012, reaching more than $51 billion or $5,348 per capita.
•  General Fund spending has decreased since 2009, but total state spending has increased.  The shift of spending outside of the General Fund has created a lack of transparency in the state budget process.
•  Federal spending continues to be a major part of North Carolina’s total budget spending, totaling 45 percent of total expenditures in 2012.
•  Health and Human Services is the largest state agency expenditure in North Carolina’s budget and has grown over 260 percent since 1980.
•  During the Easley administration, Health and Human Services became the largest expenditure in total state government.  Since 2005, the HHS budget has been consistently higher than education appropriations.

Spotlight 447 Trends in North Carolina State Spending: Total state spending has grown after both inflation…

Sarah Curry is Director of Fiscal Policy Studies at the John Locke Foundation. Previously, she worked for the North Carolina State Senate as a research assistant for the chairs of the Senate Agricultural Committee and headed the research efforts for… ...

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