North Carolina’s Next Budget Should Do These Five Things | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the John Locke Foundation. The author of this post is Paige Terryberry.

    It's budget season in the Tar Heel State. We have high hopes that this biennium budget can allow for substantial benefits to North Carolinians. The state House released its budget proposal for the biennium in March. The state Senate is expected to release its version in the coming weeks.

    The final budget should do the following:

    1. Respect North Carolinians' tax dollars through fiscal responsibility.

    North Carolina's fiscal success has been made possible through spending restraint. This budget should limit spending, especially as a recession looms on the horizon.

    The John Locke Foundation has supported amending the state's constitution to include a Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Such a bill would ensure spending increases stay below the rate of population and inflation growth. In this way, the cost of government to taxpayers remains steady over time, an agreeable alternative to the tax and spend cycles of the past.

    Moreover, North Carolina's budget outside of the General Fund contains significant federal dollars. As federal government leaders discuss raising the debt ceiling, North Carolina lawmakers would be wise to distance themselves from federal aid, including Medicaid Expansion.

    2. Reward work by further lowering the personal income tax rate.

    Money belongs to those who earn it. Cutting the personal income tax rate allows workers to keep more of their income and makes North Carolina more competitive regionally. Both state houses have introduced bills that cut the personal income tax rate further than the cuts already scheduled.

    The personal income tax makes up more than half of the General Fund tax revenue in North Carolina. Even so, revenue collections have exceeded expectations. Other states are following suit, transforming their tax codes to the flat, simple rate and slashing rates. In any limited government, taxes should be low.

    3. Promote economic growth by simplifying business-related taxes.

    Leaders at the General Assembly have taken assertive action to eliminate the corporate income tax rate by 2030. This means more jobs and bigger paychecks in our state as workers ultimately bear the burden of this harmful tax.

    More can be done, however, and the House budget proposal built on prior reforms to further reduce the state franchise tax. The franchise tax, often called a capital stock tax in other states, is a tax on the business's net worth. It discourages investment and asset accumulation in favor of more immediate profit-taking.

    This budget should also repeal the harmful, archaic, and redundant privilege license tax that disproportionately affects a handful of sectors.

    4. Give more parents the ability to choose the appropriate education for their child.

    School choice expansion is gaining momentum in North Carolina. This budget should expand eligibility for North Carolina's Opportunity Scholarship program by removing the requirement that certain students attend public school before applying for a scholarship, as outlined in the House budget proposal. The budget should also enact changes proposed in SB 406 to remove income eligibility requirements and instead award scholarships to all who want one based on a sliding scale.

    5. Prioritize budget transparency.

    New reserves in the state budget should be included in the budget's bottom line. This increases transparency and accountability. When separate reserves are not included in the General Fund total, this not only allows for more room for increased, recurring spending in the General Fund, but it also garbles transparency. For example, the House budget proposal would send $400 million to the Economic Development Project Reserve over the biennium, as well as more than $1 billion to the Regional Economic Development Reserve. This money is set aside before calculating General Fund availability, meaning the bottom-line spending number looks smaller than it actually is.

    Along the same lines, North Carolina should enact the Insko Rule for budget transparency. Legislators should at the very least, be held accountable for their pork spending projects by attaching their name.

    With these actions and more, this budget can build on the solid progress of the last one, upholding North Carolina's legacy as the best place to live and do business.
Go Back

Leave a Guest Comment

Your Name or Alias
Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)
Enter Your Comment ( no code or urls allowed, text only please )

Opportunity Scholarship expansion moves forward in NC House Statewide, John Locke Foundation Guest Editorial, Editorials, Government, Op-Ed & Politics, State and Federal How to Feed a Culture of Dependency


Latest State and Federal

The most interesting candidate in the 2024 election has to be Democratic hopeful Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. – if not for his career path and family history, then for his willingness to buck the D.C. establishment narrative and attack The Uniparty.
57% of North Carolinians support legislation to prohibit abortions after the first trimester, with exceptions.
Former President Donald Trump’s social media company is seeking $3.78 billion in damages in a defamation lawsuit against The Washington Post for publishing “an egregious hit piece” earlier this month that accused the company of securities fraud and other wrongdoings.
Special provisions continue to thrive in North Carolina. The last biennium budget was loaded with special projects, and the forthcoming one may be no different.
The University of Minnesota was the subject of a civil rights complaint last week for enacting a research program that offers applicants a $6,000 stipend but is restricted to students of color.
South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott announced his entry into the 2024 presidential election on Monday, smacking President Joe Biden while touting his own up-from-poverty story.


One of the largest public state pension funds in the nation has routinely accepted shareholder resolution advice from a woke proxy advisory firm based in San Francisco
Special counsel John Durham‘s long-awaited report serves as a guide for how Congress can further investigate the Russiagate controversy, according to a top GOP lawmaker.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) slammed ABC’s “The View” during a presidential campaign stop over the weekend in Iowa while announcing that he was going on the show this week.
The NAACP Board of Directors issued a statement on Saturday warning black Americans that the state of Florida was not a safe place for them and included an official “travel advisory” calling the state “openly hostile” – but the board’s chairman, Leon Russell, apparently lives in Florida himself.
Children in grades K-3 in North Carolina have surpassed the rest of the nation when it comes to their early-literacy skills. That’s according to N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt, who shared the news at Tuesday’s Council of State meeting.


Ty Cobb, a former White House lawyer for President Donald Trump, said that he believes that the former president will get convicted in the federal criminal investigation into his handling of classified materials and that he will ultimately go to prison over it.


Back to Top