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Every year the Tax Foundation publishes the State Business Tax Climate Index, which allows taxpayers, businesses, and policy makers an easy comparison of how their states' tax systems relate. This ranking of the states is based on tax policy has been very important in North Carolina over the last...
The Tax Foundation estimates that, once all reforms are fully phased in, North Carolina's overall business tax climate ranking will be 13th best in the country. According to the 2016 index, North Carolina is now ranked as the 15th most attractive business tax climate. Given where we started...
Many times we hear about the state of North Carolina entering into agreements with corporations to promote economic development, but did you know that local municipalities do the same?
This past week I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at Americans for Prosperity's annual event, the Defending the American Dream Summit. I spoke about Washington's power grab and how the growth of federal agencies is threatening our laboratories of democracy. Many of us know that...
North Carolina lawmakers still cannot agree to a final budget. The Senate saw difficulty in compromise, so they decided to move their economic development and Medicaid reform plans out of the budget and into stand-alone bills. Unfortunately, even with this change, the two chambers were unable to...
Guess what! Another budget extension has been passed by the General Assembly. Which means North Carolina is still without a spending plan for the current fiscal year. North Carolina's fiscal year began July 1st, with the state continuing operations under a temporary spending plan.
If you thought North Carolina was alone when it came to tardy budgets, think again. North Carolina joined Alabama and New Hampshire in passing budgets late last week. Now there are only two states left in the country without budgets, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
Increasingly, city officials have been using municipal-level resources to participate in economic development activities. These efforts have replicated approaches utilized by state and federal officials, albeit on a smaller scale. This study surveys North Carolina's most populous cities and...
The majority of the state's operations are funded through the General Fund. There are, though, some major components of the state's expenditure that are located outside the General Fund. In short, the General Fund amounts to around $20 billion, while total state spending amounts to approximately...
Existing businesses in North Carolina are taxed at rates below the national average, and new firms generally benefit from tax rates beneath national norms, making the Tar Heel State an attractive place to do business, a new study concluded.
As we travel and meet with family this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, there are two items that are bound to be on most tables - turkeys and sweet potatoes. North Carolina is ranked first nationally in sweet potato production and second nationally for turkey production. The state's...
Government is measured everyday for different reasons and from different perspectives. Some measure government by the number of laws that have been enacted. Others look at the amount of tax revenue that is collected and the size of the operating budget. Still others look at more subjective measur
For those of us who follow state government, the budget is always a topic of conversation. Where will the money be spent? How much will be spent on the various agencies? Will there be a surplus or a deficit? The list goes on and on, but one question that doesn't come up very often is, how is...
Everything has a price, so how much do Americans spend on the spookiest day of the year? Since 2005, the National Retail Federation has conducted a Halloween Consumer Spending Survey to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to Halloween spending. Overall, 162 million people are...
Tough decisions need to be made during this legislative session, but are they being made in the best interest of the taxpayer or in the spirit of efficient government? Two questions came before the House Finance and Appropriations committees on Tuesday, a change to the state's gasoline tax as...
New Bern may be best known as the birthplace of Pepsi Co., the world's third largest food and beverage company. But it is also home to one of North Carolina's most financially unstable tourist attractions -- Tryon Palace -- and the neighboring North Carolina History Center.
This holiday used to be a day to do something special for the one you love -- today it is a moneymaking event for retailers and the government alike. The National Retail Federation hosts an annual Valentine's Day Survey that focuses on what people will spend their money on for the holiday...
Before the governor and legislators release their versions of the state budget, a very important source of information is needed - a comprehensive assessment of the state's debt status. Each year the Treasurer's office releases a Debt Affordability Study, which outlines the state's debt...
The question of whether our state government ought to subsidize historic preservation is distinguishable from the question of how government should deliver those subsidies. Unfortunately, these two issues have been lumped together by lawmakers when discussing the recent sunset of the historic...
During the 1970s and 1980s, America saw a growing federal deficit that caused states to react. North Carolina rewrote its constitution in 1971, and as part of that constitution the state is required to pass a 'balanced budget.' More specifically, the state's total expenditures cannot exceed its...
Efficient, effective, accountable, and transparent -- are all goals legislators and policy advisors tout when crafting the state's budget. While these outcomes are goals for lawmakers, there are many decisions that must be made in order to achieve these goals. The budget process is not set...
During each legislative session, education is at the forefront of budget and policy discussions. Expenditures on elementary, secondary, and higher education (the University of North Carolina system plus the community college system) added up to more than $11.5 billion last year, or 58 percent of the
North Carolina's State Park System is made up of 34 state parks, four state recreation areas, and three state natural areas that cost state government $50.8 million last fiscal year. There is no entrance fee to the state parks, and the system currently only generates revenue from camping fees...
For the last 90 years, North Carolina has been providing support and assistance to veterans and their families. In response to World War I, the General Assembly established the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs (NCDVA) as part of the Commission of Labor in 1925. After the Second...
This week brought every American's favorite day, April 15th. Hopefully you filed and paid your taxes by the Wednesday deadline, but do you know exactly how long it took you to pay those taxes? If we add up every tax you have to pay - federal, state, property, etc. - how long would you have to...
In Governor McCrory's Recommended Budget for the 2015-17 biennium, he suggested the creation of a cabinet-level department, the Department of Information Technology (IT). Whenever the government suggests creating a new department or agency, it must weigh the cost of creating the department...
Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown (R-Onslow) introduced legislation on Monday to reform the state sales tax system. The state levies a 4.75 percent sales tax, while counties levy an additional two percent. The two percent is the focus of the bill, and is currently composed of three different...
How much does North Carolina's government spend? A simple question, but unfortunately there's not a simple answer.
Last week Gov. Pat McCrory released his budget proposal for the 2015-2017 biennium, his spending plan for $22 billion in each of the next two fiscal years. While there are some positive spending decisions in this budget, there are also some discouraging choices in certain areas of government...
Senator Harry Brown said the Senate would not have budget votes this week as originally planned. "It may get delayed a few days," he said last week. "There's a few pieces where the provisions are just difficult to put together - some education provisions and (health and human services) provisions."
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