This series, entitled “Cut This, Go Home,” includes several budget items that should no longer receive taxpayer funding because they fall well outside the legitimate, core functions of government.
This installment focuses on the Tryon Palace located in New Bern.
- North Carolina taxpayers have been subsidizing Tryon Palace to the tune of millions of dollars annually for years. Categorized in the Department of Cultural Resources in the state budget, the Palace received $3 million in taxpayer funds last year, offset by less than $400,000 in receipts.
- The House budget plan included a $50,000 increase in annual taxpayer support for the Palace
- Total Tryon Palace state spending planned for the next year is $2,942,302
- The state in the last 10 years has poured tens of millions of dollars into additions and improvements to try and make the attraction self-supporting, but none have worked.
- Attractions such as Tryon Palace do not fit into the “core functions” of state government.
- Tryon Palace should support itself through voluntary donations, visitor admissions and even corporate partnerships.
- Tryon Palace is not an original historic structure. It was built as a tourist attraction in the last half of the 20th century and is no more “historic” than a structure in Disneyland (many of which are older than Tryon Palace.)
Every dollar that goes to support the Tryon Palace could have either been left in the hands of hardworking taxpayers or spent on more urgent, core functions of state government like education, mental health or public safety.