Berger: Surplus Funds a “Blessing and a Curse” | Beaufort County Now | Berger said funds should be used for infrastructure, tax relief, state worker salaries, and expansion of school choice not massive, new government expenses.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Berger: Surplus Funds a “Blessing and a Curse”

Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is Dallas Woodhouse.

    Addressing the N.C. Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Summit, State Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said the more than $4.5 billion surplus tax revenue North Carolina has in its coffers is both a "blessing and a curse."

    Berger stated the $4.5 billion in surplus revenue does not include another $5 billion in federal COVID relief that is "here or on the way."

    Berger said the funds, mostly one-time, non-recurring money, can and should be used to address critical capital and infrastructure needs, tax relief, state worker salaries, and expansion of school choice. He said it should not be used to create massive, recurring new government expenses.

    "I think they (the funds) are a blessing because they do provide us the resources to do some things we have needed to do for a while," said Berger. "I think those dollars become a curse if we artificially inflate recurring spending on a year over year basis."

    "That is the same strategy, 'the spend now, think about it later' that was in place that led to the recession in 2008-09," he said. "We certainly don't want those dollars to lull us into that type of decision-making."

    When Republicans captured control of both chambers of the General Assembly in 2010, they inherited a $3 billion budget shortfall and a $3 billion debt to the federal government for unemployment benefits.

    "We need to control the year over year growth in reoccurring spending, we need to reduce the tax burden on our job creators in our economy and on individuals, in our economy and we need to mindful what happens to those job creators when government takes to large of a role when regulating certain activity in the private sector," Berger said.

    Berger said the state Senate was committed to funding an expansion of school choice through assisting home school parents with expenses and expanding the state's Opportunity Scholarship Program for low-income families.

    Berger indicated the General Assembly has funds available to meet critical infrastructure needs without further borrowing and additional state debt, signaling Cooper's proposed $4.7-billion bond proposal is dead in the water.

    House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, echoed Berger that state employee raises would be a top priority for Republicans in the General Assembly. He pointed out the General Assembly has already funded enhancements to the state's third-grade reading program and a summer learning program championed by the speaker to help students cope with learning loss from the pandemic.

    The Chamber has asked the General Assembly to examine possible tax relief in certain areas, including reducing the personal income tax rate and/or increasing the standard deduction and offering business tax relief including reducing the corporate income and/or franchise taxes.

    Senate Minority Dan Blue, D-Wake, and State Rep. Gale Adcock, D-Wake, also spoke to the Chamber. They voiced support for Cooper's budget proposal, which does not call for large-scale tax relief as Republicans propose, and a higher level of spending than Republicans will support. They also support Medicaid expansion and Cooper's proposal for a $4.7-billion general obligation bond on the ballot this November, proposals Republicans have already rejected.
Go Back

HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

Governor Roy Cooper has appointed Mark Sternlicht to serve as Superior Court Judge for Judicial District 12 in serving Cumberland County.
Graham Piro of the Washington Free Beacon documents state-level efforts to safeguard religious freedom during a pandemic.
More than 30 Republican lawmakers in Congress are pushing President Joe Biden to overturn a decision by the Pentagon that prevents a veterans group from using one of its massive parking lots to stage a Memorial Day motorcycle rally
Today, on Military Spouse Appreciation Day, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reintroduced the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act
A new lawsuit filed Friday, May 7, in Carteret County would end Gov. Roy Cooper’s ability to issue executive orders linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Occupational therapists who move to North Carolina would have an easier time getting back to work under a bill in the General Assembly.

HbAD1

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.
If you support the NRA you should stand up for it now
Today, Governor Roy Cooper signed the following bills into law: Senate Bill 113 & 2 others
David Drucker of the Washington Examiner reports on poll results that should interest politicians looking ahead to 2022 and 2024.
Christopher Bedford of the Federalist highlights a disturbing development in our social interactions.

HbAD2

 
Back to Top