The Civitas Institute releases a study on the recently signed N.C. budget
Raleigh, N.C. –Over $1.1 billion dollars in new earmarks and pork spending was authorized in the 2008-2009 North Carolina state budget by the General Assembly according to Brian Balfour, Tax/Budget Policy Analyst at the Civitas Institute.
The budget was finalized after Governor Mike Easley’s signature on July 16th and among the spending were questionable items such as:
- $15 million for a park in Fayetteville
- $6.6 million for the Mattamuskeet Lodge renovations
- $1.3 million for a Museum of Forestry
- $900,000 for a horse complex in Raleigh
- $500,000 to market and promote a small-college basketball tournament in Charlotte
- $8.1 million for Western North Carolina Agriculture Center and Farmer’s Market improvements
- $4.3 million for a research oyster hatchery at UNC Wilmington
- $3.7 million for the Southeastern North Carolina Agriculture Center Pavilion to host livestock events
The $1.1 billion total includes current spending, future obligations to finance planned projects and debt financing authorized without voter approval.
“With less discretionary funds available due to slowing tax revenue, lawmakers in Raleigh decided to max out their credit card to finance most of their pork and earmark projects,” according to Brian Balfour, Tax/Budget Policy Analyst. “Unfortunately for North Carolina taxpayers, that credit card has our name on it and the bill is growing. Our elected officials have decided to recklessly pile on to the State debt and commit to projects that will require hundreds of millions of tax dollars to complete in coming years. Such short-sightedness will tie the hands of future budget-makers, forcing them to either cut vital programs or impose a round of tax hikes on North Carolina families.”
If you would like more information regarding this topic, or to schedule an interview with Brian Balfour, please call Gabe Dellinger at 919.747.8065 or email him at Gabe.Dellinger@nccivitas.org.