An article in today’s NC Insider (subscription needed) discusses Sen. Phil Berger’s public comments that the state’s sizeable revenue surplus should be returned to taxpayers in the form of a refund.
Senate leader Phil Berger says the state’s recent $896.7 million budget surplus should be refunded to taxpayers. Berger spoke about the surplus, which came in larger than expected, in an interview last week with the Spectrum News program “Capital Tonight.” “I actually think that the right thing to do with that is to send that money back to the people that sent it to us,” Berger told Spectrum. “What we ought to be doing is thinking about how we can provide a refund to the taxpayers of the state of North Carolina. If they sent us more money than was needed last year for the budget, then I think they deserve to have some of it back.”
According to the article, Berger spokesman Pat Ryan said his office is “still crunching the numbers, but it would probably be a few hundred dollars for a couple filing jointly.”
No legislation has been introduced, but Ryan added “If we think there is a path forward, we’ll release more information once we’ve done some more homework.”
The ongoing budget stalemate, according to Ryan, may help facilitate action on a refund. “If Gov. Cooper maintains his refusal to sign any budget unless Medicaid expansion first becomes law, and if the House is unable to override his veto, it would seem to make sense that we return some of this money to the people who sent it to us,” Ryan said.