• Research Report

    New Year, New Taxes: Governor Seeks Nearly $1 Billion in New Spending

    posted February 24, 2005 by Joseph Coletti
    Governor Mike Easley says his budget for the 2005-2007 biennium is the model of fiscal prudence, but the numbers belie this. Spending increases nearly $1 billion to $16.9 billion. The governor claims $200 million in spending cuts, but they are far outweighed by the $741 billion in higher taxes. Tobacco Trust Fund transfers and unreserved credit balance close the rest of the $1.1 billion structural deficit. The General Assembly will need to be more forthright if it is to put real restraints on government growth.
  • Research Report

    Perspective on NC Budget: Spending is the Problem, Not Lack of Tax Revenue

    posted January 22, 2003 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    North Carolina lawmakers are once again coming to Raleigh to grapple with a projected deficit exceeding $1 billion. A close examination of fiscal trends demonstrates that excessive spending, not inadequate revenue, is the cause and that the state budget continues to be bloated with wasteful or low-priority expenditures. Policymakers must show courage, be willing to apply fundamental principles, and target major areas of state spending for savings and reform.
  • Research Report

    Truth or Consequences: Official Data Tell Real Story about NC Fiscal Woes

    posted April 16, 2002 by John Hood
    In recent months, public officials have made a range of statements in an attempt to explain persistent state and local budget woes. Many of these assertions do not square with the facts. A collection of graphs and tables shows clearly that North Carolina government is out of line with neighboring states in spending, employment, and taxes. Moreover, revenue growth outpaced personal income growth during the 1990s, while debt service costs are projected to triple over 10 years.
  • Research Report

    Final Budget Grows 11%: 1998 Is A Year Of Spending Growth, Not Tax Cuts

    posted October 28, 2001 by John Hood
    The lengthy budget negotiations between House and Senate this year resulted in a compromise that gave the Senate its spending priorities this year and the House its tax cuts in future years. Overall, when accounted for correctly, the state General Fund budget will top $13.1 billion in FY 1998-99, representing an 11 percent increase from last year. Spending growth outweighs tax cuts in FY 1998-99 by a ratio of 25 to 1 — but the picture improves somewhat in the out years, when House-sought cuts in sales and inheritance taxes are phased in.
  • Research Report

    Inquiry #1: Bond, Strange Bond

    posted September 30, 2001 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Summary: The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has proposed a capital spending plan calling for nearly $5 billion over the next decade to modernize and expand the system. To pay for it, UNC wants the authority to raise funds by the issuance of two kinds of bonds that would not be subject to voter approval. While there is undeniable need to renovate academic buildings, taking care of the worst needs over the next four years would cost about $1.1 billion and could be handled through the existing budget process if repair and renovation were made the top university priority. The need for a large-scale construction program is dubious and does not require the use of non-voter-approved bonds.

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