Civitas Watch List: July 7, 2009

SB 20 – Voter-Owned Election for Treasurer

The use of taxpayer dollars to finance political campaigns is not the best use of scarce taxpayer resources. Supporters of this bill say the entire process is voluntary, however the same cannot be said for the taxpayer who does not have the option to have his or her tax dollars used for this purpose. At a time when budget negotiations are centering around how much to raise taxes, now is not the time to be using taxpayer dollars on political campaigns.

Advocates also like to claim that taxpayer financing increases public confidence in government; however no study has proven this to be true. For more on this issue, please see this piece written by Civitas Budget and Tax Analyst Brian Balfour.


This bill would force already struggling North Carolinians to subsidize the risk of wealthy investors. SB 580 establishes an investment company focused on financing life science companies, guaranteeing a rate of return for investors. If the rate of return is not met, the difference will be made up by providing tax credits to investors. Such an arrangement is similar to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in that it privatizes profits while socializing risk. This will encourage investments in very risky entrepreneurial endeavors – those that wouldn’t be approved in the marketplace. The issuance of tax credits to investors will narrow the tax base, placing even further pressure on average working North Carolinians to shoulder a greater share of tax revenue to the state.

This article was posted in Legislative Activity by Chris Hayes on July 7, 2009 at 2:12 PM.

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