Bad Bill of the Week: 10 Reasons the House Budget is a Bad Bill

Late last week the North Carolina House passed its FY 2015-17 budget proposal. The spending plan would appropriate $22.16 billion in the coming year, an increase of 6.3 percent over the amount of projected actual spending in the current budget year. (The new budget year will begin July 1.)

To see how your legislator voted on the final version of the House budget, click here.

Moreover, the House budget plan introduces more than $1 billion in new spending over the current year, and the growth rate far exceeds the state’s growth of inflation plus population, estimated to be around 2.7 percent this year.

Not only does the House budget exceed sensible measures of spending restraint, it is packed with unnecessary pork spending and handouts to well-heeled corporate cronies. Indeed, no fewer than five former Civitas Institute Waste of the Week features receive increased taxpayer funding in the House budget, and – thanks to an amendment – a recent Civitas Bad Bill of the Week is included as well.

Following is a list of 10 items helping to make the House Budget this week’s Bad Bill of the Week:

  1. $200K for a youth baseball tournament in House Speaker Tim Moore’s district
  2. $40 million per year for film production taxpayer handouts (down from $60 mil in the original proposal)
  3. $1 million for the “Healthy Food Small Retailer Fund,” a program shunting taxpayer dollars to corner stores for refrigerators and shelving to sell fruits and vegetables. This measure is a recent Civitas Bad Bill of the Week
  4. $10.3 million (in FY2016-17) for renewable energy tax credits
  5. $50K for a museum dedicated to the history of the town of Stanley, located in Rep. John Torbett’s district
  6. $8 million for historic preservation tax credits
  7. $2.5 million expansion of funds for The Support Center (formerly The Minority Support Center, a previous partner in Moral Monday protests)
  8. $3 million per year for data center tax breaks
  9. $50K increase in funding for the Tryon Palace, another former Waste of the Week feature
  10. $5 million expansion in funds for the NC Biotech Center, yet another former Civitas Waste of the Week

NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the home district of the museum in Stanley. Civitas regrets the error.

This article was posted in Bad Bill of the Week by Brian Balfour on May 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM.

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