North Carolina’s state budget is already at the breaking point. In order to “balance” the current year’s spending plan, lawmakers grasped at a patchwork list of revenue, including more than $1 billion in state tax hikes, $1.4 billion in federal “stimulus” funds and nearly $100 million from various state “trust funds.”
The 2009-10 budget marks a continuation of North Carolina’s dysfunctional “spend and tax” cycle: when times are good the state dramatically increases spending. When a recession hits, state leaders resort to tax increases – such as the $1.1 billion tax hike approved this year – to continue state spending.
Greensboro residents face a staggering state and local government true debt burden equivalent to $11,200 for every man, woman and child -- or roughly $44,800 for a family of four. This amount, calculated in a report by Raleigh's Civitas Institute, reflects each Greensboro citizen's share of the total debt and unfunded liabilities accrued by the city of Greensboro, Guilford County and the state of North Carolina (the report is available at www.nccivitas.org).
Lincolnton residents face a staggering state and local government true debt burden equivalent to $9,900 for every man, woman and child – or roughly $39,700 for a family of four.
While many North Carolina voters were heading to the ballot box on November 3 to elect new local government officials, a select group of N.C. House and Senate Finance committee members met in Raleigh to discuss ways of overhauling the state’s tax code.
State and local governments across North Carolina have accumulated $85 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities. That's equivalent to more than $9,200 for every man, woman, and child across the state - or approximately $36,800 for a family of four. To better inform citizens about the fiscal condition of North Carolina's state and local governments, the Civitas Institute has tallied this comprehensive collection of true debt. The total debt burden, as of June 30, 2008, comes to $85 billion.
In a recent USA Today article summarizing how states balanced their budgets this summer, Vice President of the National Taxpayers Union Pete Sepp declared, "With a few exceptions, states have been able to avoid the doomsday projections that big tax hikes were on the way." Unfortunately, North Carolina was one of those “exceptions.”
Legislature’s Appetite for Pork Leaves Residents with $1 Billion Tax Increase A total of $1.64 billion of non-essential new spending was introduced by North Carolina budget writers during the economic boom years of 2004-05 to 2007-08, according to recent research by the Civitas Institute. This boon in non-essential spending helps explain why state lawmakers felt […]
A total of $1.64 billion of non-essential new spending was introduced by North Carolina budget writers during the economic boom years of FY 2004-05 to FY 2007-08. Like the irresponsible guy who blows his unexpected bonus buying drinks for everyone at the bar, state lawmakers decided to be overly generous with the avalanche of tax revenue being raked in during those prosperous four years.
The FY 2009-10 North Carolina $20.7 billion state budget (S.L. 2009-451) includes one of the largest tax increases in state history while increasing actual spending by $400 milloin over last year. Rather than seize on a golden opportunity to implement meaningful spending reform, state lawmakers instead used a massive $1.1 billion in new taxes to preserve the status quo.
Despite high volume rhetoric about massive budget cuts, the FY2009-10 North Carolina state budget for public education (K-12, UNC and community colleges) reduces total spending for all public education by only about 1 percent over last year’s actual expenditure levels. State spending for all public education is reduced from $11.8 to $11.1 billion. However the addition of $517 million in federal stimulus funds for K-12 and higher education offsets state budget reductions and actually increases total spending to approximately $11.7 billion.
General Government’s FY 2009-10 budgeted expenditures is less than last year’s estimated actual spending. This year’s spending, however, still does mark a 27 percent increase in five years. The agency did not receive any federal funding to help supplement its appropriations for FY 2009-10.
NER’s total budget for FY 2009-10 marks a year-over-year decrease of 15% from last year’s actual estimated spending. Buttressed by federal funds of $15 million this year, however, NER’s budget has still climbed 32% in the last five years. And in spite of being in the middle of what we are told is a “budget crisis,” the NER budget allocates over $100 million in questionable items (see below).
With help in part from $24 million of federal funds, this year’s JPS expenditures will be slightly higher than last year’s estimated actual spending. The most significant budgetary changes occur in corrections, with 187 – mostly vacant – positions being eliminated and seven prisons being closed.
The Highway Fund revenues traditionally come from the state gas tax, motor vehicle registration fees, title fees, and federal-aid appropriations. The Highway Fund contributes to highway construction and maintenance, the State Highway Patrol and the Division of Motor Vehicles.