In the decade for which Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights was fully in effect, its economy far outperformed the national economy. In contrast, during the decades before and after, Colorado’s economy fell short of the nation’s. Also during the TABOR decade, Colorado taxpayers received more than $3 billion in refunds,
Over the last decade, state legislators held government growth to the rate of growth in inflation and population even while increasing spending on teacher pay and Medicaid. Their restraint made room for rainy-day savings, tax reductions, and economic growth. A constitutional Taxpayer Bill of Rights would preserve North Carolina’s positive momentum.
Learning Loss Education Savings Accounts can remedy the damaging impacts of students being out of the classroom and empower parents to find the educational option that best fits their child’s needs. The American Rescue Plan Act expands the child tax credit to $3,000 or $3,600, depending on the age of the child, and this change can greatly aid the ability of parents to afford private school.
Debate over North Carolina’s recently proposed Taxpayer Bill of Rights will begin heating up soon. Opponents will likely try to portray Colorado’s experience in a negative light, but their major claims are easily debunked.
Support for school choice is strong nationally and resulted in new programs and expansions in many states. North Carolina legislation to expand choice programs and grant a tax credit to homeschooling families, if approved, would increase the amount of the assistance as well as the number of people using school choice programs.
Conservative spending restraint was key to preparing North Carolina for last year’s economic slowdown. Similar restraint could have avoided the fiscal crisis we experienced in the Great Recession. A Tax and Expenditure Limit added to the state constitution could make wise conservative fiscal policy permanent.
The American Rescue Plan Act's $130 billion for K-12 education included $3.6 billion for North Carolina public schools, but strangely for an emergency, only 5 percent of that education spending will be spent this year. It's clear that this massive spending is about rewarding teachers’ unions and other constituencies that helped both Joe Biden and Roy Cooper get elected.
The largest increase in Cooper's proposed state appropriations would be for employee salaries and benefits. Cooper's proposal does not provide price tags for Leandro or Medicaid expansion. Cooper would also eliminate successful and popular Opportunity Scholarships.
Cooper’s 2021-23 biennium budget is more a political statement than a realistic proposal. It would leave state government fiscally fragile and at greater risk of layoffs and tax increases in a future recession.
Cooper’s budget proposal is an unrealistic political document, not a serious budget plan. It would increase budgeted expenditures over the current year by 11.6 percent. The budget would direct hundreds of millions to cronies and “niceties” that are outside the core functions of state government.
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