JLF Research Archive

Spending & Taxes

Showing items 1 to 25 of 229

(10.07.15) City Incentives in North Carolina: How Large Cities Are Using Taxpayer Dollars

This study surveys North Carolina’s most populous cities and examines how each conducts economic development in its jurisdiction. Collectively, they entered into 238 economic development contracts worth more than $65 million over the five-year period. Actual payments, however, totaled $20.2 million.

(9.22.15) North Carolina Budget FY 2015 - 17

For fiscal year 2015-16, the General Fund budget will rise 3.1 percent to $21.7 billion, below the combined rates of population growth and inflation. The following year, the budget will have an overall increase of less than one-percent.

(8.12.15) By The Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties, FY 2013

By The Numbers provides information on how much local government costs in every city and county in North Carolina.

(7.09.15) Economic Incentives: County By County

Between FY 2009 and FY 2014, 81 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties participated in economic development activities. Counties entered into 776 contracts worth nearly $284 million in incentives over the five-year period. Actual payments, however, totaled $144 million.

(6.23.15) Best From Both Budgets: Applying a "reverse logrolling" method to government spending and savings

A reverse logroll for the 2015-17 biennium budget would greatly benefit taxpayers, leaving surpluses of approximately $383 million in the first year and $639 million in the second year. This allows lawmakers more flexibility to lower taxes or fund other priorities.

(5.18.15) An Alternative Budget: Response to the governor's proposed budget for the upcoming biennium

The John Locke Foundation is continuing its tradition, started in 1995, of offering an alternative to the governor’s budget recommendation. Consistent with prior years, this JLF budget focuses on core government. This budget spends less in both years of the biennium than the governor’s, and only increases spending by 2 percent from the last fiscal year.

(5.06.15) Corporate Tax Incentives: What's the harm?

The governor and Republican members of the state legislature are advocating for a host of new incentive programs and the extension and/or expansion of others. However, these programs are likely to harm consumers, investors, and entrepreneurs who are not privy to the subsidies.

(2.09.15) First in Freedom Index

Overall, North Carolina ranks 23rd in the nation and 5th among the 12 states of the Southeast in freedom. North Carolina ranks 16th in fiscal freedom, 18th in educational freedom, 36th in regulatory freedom, and 46th in health care freedom.

(1.29.15) Historic Preservation Tax Credits: Government should not intervene in the historic-property business on economic grounds

The North Carolina historic preservation tax credits sunset on January 1, 2015. State government should strive to keep the tax code clean. If lawmakers choose to enact a program to aid in historic preservation, a grant program is a better alternative than a tax credit.

(9.15.14) North Carolina’s Capital Gains Tax: It’s time to consider a change

Capital gains taxes penalize saving, investment, and therefore entrepreneurship, by imposing a second layer of taxation on equity investment. The most straightforward way to end this bias is to eliminate the tax on capital gains completely.

(8.20.14) State Budget Overview: Teacher compensation and Medicaid drive the 2014-15 budget

For fiscal year 2014-15, North Carolina’s General Fund budget rose 2.2 percent to $21.1 billion. It funded an average teacher salary increase of 7 percent, one of the largest pay raises for North Carolina teachers in a generation, and created a Medicaid contingency fund of $186.4 million.

(7.10.14) North Carolina’s E-Cigarette Tax: Where bad tax policy meets special interest politics

North Carolina passed a law during the 2014 legislative session taxing the liquid used in electronic cigarettes at an additional 5 cents per milliliter. This tax will hurt small businesses and violates the most important principle of good tax policy—neutrality. The North Carolina General Assembly should repeal the electronic cigarette tax.

(6.23.14) By The Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties FY 2012

The economic recession that hit full force in 2008 was declared officially over in June 2009 when the country experienced two quarters of very slow growth. But a troubled housing sector and a still-sluggish economy with high unemployment have contributed to the fiscal crises facing many cities and counties in North Carolina. As always, this edition of By the Numbers is must reading for government officials and taxpayers alike. It highlights what kinds of fiscal problems face local governments in an economy that grows only very slowly. With the facts given here, county commissioners and city council members can easily compare their area’s tax burden to similarly situated cities or counties. For taxpayers, BTN is a starting point for questions about taxes and spending, enabling them to hold their elected and appointed officials accountable.

(6.18.14) The Best of Both Budgets: “Reverse logrolling” would help legislators produce a sound spending plan

Reverse logrolling applied to the current state budget would result in a General Fund budget of $20.6 billion and a $667 million surplus, which would allow legislators more flexibility when discussing spending priorities, including teacher pay increases. It would also allow enough to be set aside in savings and reserves to avoid any unforeseen shortfalls in the next fiscal year.

(6.02.14) Agenda 2014: A Candidate's Guide to Key Issues in North Carolina Public Policy

Every two years since 1996, coinciding with North Carolina's races for the General Assembly, the John Locke Foundation has published a revised edition of Agenda, our public policy guide for candidates and voters. Typically as we enter the campaign season, candidates for public office in North Carolina are faced with a daunting task: to develop informed positions on dozens of public policy issues. In the pages of Agenda 2014 we provide a concise and easily digestible guide covering a wide range of specific issues, from taxes and spending to energy policy and education.

(4.28.14) An Occupancy Tax Increase? Haywood County already has a million dollars annually from existing tax

Officials from Haywood County have proposed an increase in the county’s occupancy tax by 50 percent, which would disadvantage Haywood compared to surrounding counties with lower rates. Taxation is justified only for necessary purposes of government. Tourism promotion is not such a function and can best be served by the private sector.

(4.15.14) Lower Taxes, Higher Growth: Scholarly Research Reveals Economic Benefits of Fiscal Restraint

Most studies find that lower levels of taxes and spending, less-intrusive regulation, and lower energy prices correlate with stronger economic performance. The implications of this research track well with recent public policies adopted in North Carolina. Judging from the available empirical evidence, North Carolina’s new policy mix is likely to result in stronger economic growth in the coming years.

(1.16.14) Tax Cuts for All: Tax Reform Means Savings to All NC Income Groups

The average North Carolina household in every income category received a tax cut from the 2013 tax reform. Considering both 2011 and 2013 tax changes, the average household in both the lowest and highest income categories is receiving a tax cut of about 1 percent of income.

(11.06.13) Trends in North Carolina State Spending: Total state spending has grown after both inflation and per capita adjustments

Regardless of how it is measured, state spending is increasing. North Carolina’s total state budget peaked in 2012, reaching more than $51 billion or $5,348 per capita, with federal spending totaling 45 percent of total expenditures.

(9.24.13) Tax Reform 2013: Setting the Stage for Economic Growth

In 2013, North Carolina implemented fundamental tax reform, with changes to personal and corporate income taxes and sales tax. The plan cuts taxes by about $4.75 billion over five years, assuming the state meets certain revenue triggers and implements the plan fully. The importance of reducing tax revenues is that it transfers resources from political to private sector control, enhancing the overall efficiency of how these resources are used.

(7.24.13) Budget Basics: Sustaining the present, preserving the future

General Fund spending totals $20.6 billion for fiscal year 2013-14, only a 2.5 percent increase from the previous year, with Medicaid accounting for the largest increase in spending and tax reform saving taxpayers more than half-a-billion dollars over the two years.

(6.20.13) Three Truths of Tax Reform: Senate, House plans would spur growth, create jobs

The House and Senate tax bills now under discussion in the General Assembly would constitute fundamental tax reform, but will not prevent state government from funding core public services such as public schools and universities. They will, however, increase job creation and economic growth.

(6.17.13) The Best Solution From Both Budgets: “Reverse Logrolling” shows the best option for government spending and tax reform

The Reverse Logrolling applied to the current state budget would result in a General Fund budget of $20.6 billion in the first year and $20.8 in the second, leaving surpluses of approximately $590 million in the first year and $940 million in the second year without tax reform adjustments.

(5.22.13) Exorcising Excise Taxes: Bringing Transparency to Hidden Taxes

North Carolina excise taxes generated $2.4 billion in revenue in FY2011, amounting to 13 percent of total tax revenue collected. They are used to manipulate choices freely made by taxpayers.

(4.22.13) By The Numbers: What Government Costs in North Carolina Cities and Counties FY 2011

Counties and towns are critical levels of government in North Carolina, providing or administering many services while taking in billions of dollars of revenue. This is especially true as the state government has increasingly shifted more taxing authority to localities to make up for money kept by the state. While the importance of county and municipal government is great, obtaining comparative data is difficult. To help address this problem, By The Numbers provides information on how much local government costs in every city and county in North Carolina.

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