As hinted at last week, the Senate yesterday introduced legislation that would alter how sales tax revenue is distributed to counties across the state.
At a press conference yesterday, Sen. Majority leader Harry Brown discussed the reasoning:
We’re talking about a system that been in place for a long, long time that I think is outdated and really has divided the state into two North Carolinas,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown said. “Reforming our state’s sales tax system will help ensure that all North Carolina counties benefit from tax dollars their own citizens pay so they have the local resources necessary to strengthen public education, attract new jobs and contribute to our state’s economy.”
Fiscal analysis of the bill projects the revenue impact on all 100 counties of this proposal, predicting the revenue impact in 2018-19 relative to last year’s revenue distribution. The biggest loser percentage-wise would be Dare county, with seven other counties projected to lose out due to the distribution change.
Brown’s claim, however, that lower-populated counties lack funding for public education warrants closer examination. For instance, prior Civitas research shows that the three of the five school districts with the highest per pupil expenditures are also three of the lowest population counties (Hyde, Tyrrell and Jones).
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