• John Locke Update

    State revenue picture continues to improve

    posted November 23, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    North Carolina state government continued to have strong finances seven months after the economy first began to slow in March. Budget writers should nevertheless be cautious about adding spending commitments, however.
  • John Locke Update

    Election 2020: Local bond and tax ballot questions

    posted October 21, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    The middle of an economic and public health crisis, when people are worried if they will still have work in December and the federal budget deficit is in excess of…
  • John Locke Update

    Cautiously Optimistic FY 2021 Budget Update

    posted September 17, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Just before Labor Day, Gov. Roy Cooper signed the final bill appropriating money from North Carolina’s $3.6 billion share of the Coronavirus Trust Fund. He was clearly under duress. A veto of the bill that passed with large bipartisan majorities would surely have been overridden.
  • John Locke Update

    State budget review and preview

    posted August 26, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Lacking any guidance from Congress on the Coronavirus Relief Fund question, budget decisions will continue to be made in a fog of uncertainty. It underscores the need for even more spending restraint than the General Assembly has demonstrated since 2011.
  • John Locke Update

    Cooper’s state budget gambit is reckless

    posted June 15, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Gov. Cooper’s risky bet to keep spending like it’s 2019, despite a $1.6 billion loss of revenue between March and the end of June, is reckless and irresponsible with…
  • John Locke Update

    Six counties seek higher sales taxes

    posted February 26, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    After we posted a summary last week on sales tax referenda in four counties (Chatham, Forsyth, Madison, and Wayne), a citizen in Alamance County alerted us that a sales…
  • John Locke Update

    Four counties seek higher sales taxes

    posted February 20, 2020 by Joseph Coletti
    Another election, another opportunity for counties to ask voters to raise the sales tax. Only two of 25 tax votes have passed when held in conjunction with presidential primaries, with…
  • John Locke Update

    Spending, Tax Reform, and the North Carolina Economy

    posted November 25, 2019 by Joseph Coletti
    As the 2020 election season gathers momentum, North Carolina’s tax reforms and demands for higher spending on any number of government programs will be front and center. One example is a…
  • John Locke Update

    Budget 2019: Extra Innings

    posted November 13, 2019 by Joseph Coletti
    The state budget battle has entered extra innings. Gov. Cooper signed and vetoed another batch of mini budgets, the ninth round of budget-related legislation since his first budget veto on…
  • John Locke Update

    Should Local Governments Get to Choose their Voters?

    posted October 21, 2019 by Joseph Coletti
    November may be the best time to buy a major kitchen appliance, but counties know it is the worst time to ask voters to raise taxes, especially when there…

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