“Tax revenues don’t belong to the government, they belong to the people who earned it.”
This was the justification from Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) on a proposal, announced today, to return tax money to North Carolinians from the recently announced $900 million surplus.
Revenue surpluses occur when the actual amount of tax revenues collected exceeds the predicted collection totals. Sen. Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) want to use this year’s surplus to bolster the state’s Rainy Day fund, then return the rest directly to taxpayers.
Under this proposal, known as the Taxpayer Refund Act, a single filer would receive a refund of up to $125. A couple filing jointly would receive up to $250. Anyone who paid taxes under those thresholds would receive a full refund of the amount they paid. For example, a single filer who only paid $100 in state taxes would receive their full $100 back, but would not be eligible for the full $125.
The refund program would utilize around $663 million of the $900 million surplus. Sen. Berger’s office reports that over 5.1 million North Carolina taxpayers would be impacted by the program. Press reports from Sen. Berger’s office do not provide details on for how the other $240 million dollars of the surplus will be used, although they stated at the press conference that some of the money will be going into the state’s Rainy Day fund.