• Research Report

    Consumer Protection Blackout: Why the Public Staff Should Be Reformed

    posted March 5, 2007 by Daren Bakst
    The Public Staff is an independent government agency whose role is to represent the interests of electricity consumers before the Utilities Commission. However, as recent examples demonstrate, the Public Staff is acting more like an environmental advocate than a consumer advocate. The Public Staff has recommended a major new tax on consumers, possibly as large as $181 million annually. The Public Staff also has expressed support for wind power plants even though it would mean higher costs and an unreliable means of electricity for consumers. The agency needs major reforms so consumer interests are truly protected, including term limits on the executive director of the Public Staff.
  • Press Release

    Consumer advocate needs reform

    posted March 5, 2007
    RALEIGH – A state government agency has failed its duty by not representing N.C. electricity customers’ interests. That’s the key criticism of the Public Staff in a new John Locke…
  • Research Report

    North Carolina’s Price-Control Laws: Harming Those They’re Meant to Help

    posted December 12, 2006 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    The state of North Carolina levies differing forms of price regulations on a range of what would otherwise be free-market activities. These include controls on wages, gasoline, interest rates, and an unspecified number of prices during disasters and states of emergency. The purpose of this paper is to explain why a free and flexible price system is so important to both social order and the efficient allocation of goods, services, and resources in a free society. Particular emphasis will be placed on North Carolina’s laws meant to regulate prices and the negative effect that these regulations have on both markets and the well-being of the citizens of the state.
  • Press Release

    Price controls hurt N.C. consumers, workers

    posted December 12, 2006
    RALEIGH – North Carolina hurts its consumers and taxpayers when it tries to control prices, according to the John Locke Foundation’s new Macon Series report. That includes so-called “price…
  • Press Release

    State cannot affect global climate change

    posted December 9, 2006
    RALEIGH – Scientific evidence shows North Carolina can take no steps that would reduce global warming. That’s a key finding in a new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.
  • Research Report

    The Science Is Settled: North Carolina Can Have No Impact on Climate Change

    posted December 9, 2006 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    There is a consensus on global warming, but it is not the consensus that environmental groups and many in the media suggest. There is no consensus on the extent of future climate change or the extent to which current climate change is human induced or a result of natural variation. The true consensus — where there seems to be no disagreement whatsoever among scientists — is on the proposition that there is no public policy currently being considered to restrict carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by any level of government, including the State of North Carolina, that would have a measurable impact on the climate, either in the short or the long run (a century or longer). That proposition so far remains undisputed. (Revised February 20, 2007.)
  • Press Release

    Deal would raise N.C. taxes nearly $1 billion

    posted December 6, 2006
    RALEIGH – Legislative leaders might try to use sleight of hand and a series of political deals to raise taxes by nearly $1 billion. That’s the conclusion of a new…
  • Research Report

    Billion-Dollar Tax Hike: Legislative Leaders Consider Spend and Tax Mash-Up?

    posted December 6, 2006 by Joseph Coletti
    Legislative leaders may be planning a nearly billion-dollar tax hike. The state would take one cent of the sales tax from counties and offer them the option to increase the local sales tax by one cent. To make the trade palatable, legislators would stop charging counties for 15 percent of Medicaid, offer an earned income tax credit for low-income workers, and cut the corporate income tax rate. Counties would also have more responsibility and flexibility in funding school and road construction. Legislators should look for savings in the state budget to pay for schools, roads, and Medicaid before passing the cost to taxpayers.
  • Press Release

    Mooresville misreads the green

    posted December 3, 2006
    RALEIGH – Mooresville should cut its losses and sell a city golf course that has lost nearly $450,000 in the last five years. That’s the key recommendation in a new…
  • Research Report

    Mooresville Needs a Mulligan: The city government has no business being in the golf business

    posted December 3, 2006 by Dr. Michael Sanera
    Over the past five years, Mooresville’s city owned and operated golf course experienced operational losses of nearly $450,000. With its course, the city engages in unfair competition with six private courses in the county and 12 more courses in the surrounding area. Private golf courses pay taxes that support government services; the city does not. Unlike police and fire protection, golf is not an essential city service. If the course were sold, city taxpayers would gain the amount of the sale and avoid paying its average annual losses of $90,000 per year. Also, a privately owned golf course would contribute to the tax base of the city and county.

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