Republican Legislative Leaders Want to Give Millions of N.C. Taxpayers a Refund | Beaufort County Now | North Carolina taxpayers could get a check from the state by late November. | carolina journal, legislative leaders, taxpayers, refund, august 22, 2019

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Republican Legislative Leaders Want to Give Millions of N.C. Taxpayers a Refund

Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal, and written by Lindsay Marchello.

House Speaker Tim Moore, right, and Senate leader Phil Berger. | Photo: Carolina Journal

    North Carolina taxpayers could get a check from the state by late November.

    General Assembly leaders in a news conference announced a plan to return to taxpayers money from the $900-million surplus.

    Income-tax payments and sales tax collections ran higher than expected. Lawmakers were tasked with deciding what to do with the windfall, with ideas such as putting the money in savings or refunding it to taxpayers.

    House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, and Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, decided a refund was best.

    "My experience is you spend the money better than the government does," Moore said. "We propose to send that surplus back to the people who earned it."

    Moore and Berger said Wednesday, Aug. 21, that a bill will be introduced soon outlining the Taxpayer Refund Act, which would base refunds on how much filers paid in state taxes. Berger said individuals could see a maximum of $125, and couples could get as much as $250.

    About $680 million will cover the refunds and the cost of sending checks. The rest of the surplus will go to the Rainy Day Fund. Berger and Moore said more than 5.1 million taxpayers will receive a refund, with more than 90% getting the maximum amount. Roughly 350,000 taxpayers would get back all the state income taxes they paid last year.

    "Tax revenues don't belong to the government, they belong to the people who earned it," Berger said. "Refunding up to $250 means a lot to a family that's living paycheck-to-paycheck. We collected more money than was needed, so we're giving it back."

    Berger said the Senate Finance Committee will take up the measure Thursday and expected a floor vote early next week.

    Joseph Coletti, a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation, said there are three good ways to deal with one-time money like the surplus - put it into savings, spend it on capital, or return it to taxpayers. Coletti said the money shouldn't go toward something that would create an ongoing expectation of state spending.

    "Arguably, the best use of the surplus, as with any one-time bonus, would be to save it so North Carolinians do not face higher taxes and fewer services during the next recession," Coletti said. "Saving money would also leave open the possibility of reaching an agreement on a budget plan for the current year."

    While Coletti would prefer the money go into savings to address unfunded obligations and replenish the rainy day fund, he doesn't blame legislative leaders for opting to return some of the money, especially since the state budget isn't in place.

    Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the $24 billion General Fund budget June 28, and has since been locked in a stalemate with the General Assembly. Cooper and Democratic lawmakers want Medicaid expansion in the budget. Republican leaders oppose expanding the program. The budget includes a provision calling for a special session to discuss health-care reforms separately.

    Moore said negotiations over a budget compromise could begin if Cooper drops his ultimatum on Medicaid expansion.

    "Offering a refund to taxpayers, which could be thought of as a dividend for their investment in state government, would accept the steadfast demands of House Democrats and Gov. Cooper for Medicaid expansion at face value," Coletti said. "Maybe an offer to refund taxpayers is just the kick needed to get things going."


HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Gov. Roy Cooper’s 11th-hour veto of a school reopening bill Friday isn’t sitting well with nearly half of North Carolina likely voters, a Civitas Flash Poll shows.
On Tuesday, as he was leaving the room with Vice President Kamala Harris, President Biden was asked by reporters whether there was a crisis at the southern border of the United States.
This article is dedicated to our great Founding Fathers - men who had the courage, the foresight, and the wisdom to secure the freedom that I exercise and enjoy every single day. - Diane Rufino
We will offer this allotment of three with more to come; some old, most new, but all quite informative, and, moreover, necessary to understanding that in North Carolina, there is a wiser path to govern ourselves and our People.

HbAD1

The North Carolina Senate on Monday failed to override Governor Cooper’s veto of SB37, legislation that would have required districts to provide in-person learning.
Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced that the State is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Matthew Leon Peterkin, age 41.
Isaac Schorr of National Review Online reports on congressional Republicans’ reaction to the Biden administration’s opening days.
So, a year later, states like Florida that lifted their lockdowns quickly and eased other restrictions early have far better COVID-19 records than states of similar size, like New York, that stayed locked down longer and were slow to ease other restrictions.
The company that designed the stage used at CPAC this year has stepped forward to reportedly take full responsibility for the debacle that unfolded when internet trolls noticed the stage resembled the othala rune, a symbol featured on Nazi uniforms.

HbAD2

The N.C. General Assembly on Monday, March 1, tried but failed — by one vote, 29-20 — to override the governor’s veto of a bill to reopen schools.

HbAD3

 
Back to Top