TABOR Amendment Receives Hearing, No Promise for Vote | Eastern North Carolina Now

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

    Yesterday a House Judiciary Committee held discussions about a Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) amendment to restrain state budget growth.

    The committee, however, did not hold a vote on the bill (HB 146), and bill sponsor Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance) "said he hasn't been promised a vote."

    This bill would create a cap on annual state budget growth based on a formula combining annual populaltion plus inflation growth. Because it involves an amendment to the state's constitution, a three-fifths vote in both chambers would be needed to place it on the ballot for a vote of the people.

    The Locke Foundation has for years advocated for a TABOR to rein in the growth of state government, for instance here, here, and here.

    Perhaps the biggest reason to support a TABOR is because it would provide a check on spending growth during good economic times. Without such guardrails, spending growth can explode and bloated spending commitments become unsustainable when economic downturns occur.

    For instance, in the three decades between 1979 and 2009, the state budget grew at more than three times the pace of population growth, even after adjusting for inflation. The result from this unchecked spending binge was complete fiscal disaster when the Great Recession hit. Massive shortfalls combined with a meager and neglected Savings Reserve caused panic, teacher layoffs, and "temporary" tax hikes which prolonged North Carolina's economic pain.

    One concern of note that should be addressed if North Carolina were to pass a TABOR is the growing trend of state spending being shifted into various "reserves" and as such not counted as General Fund spending and would not count against a TABOR spending cap. For instance, this year's Senate's budget plan includes roughly $5 billion in such transfers to reserves. Some are legitimate like money set aside in the state's Rainy Day Fund or Disaster Reserve. But other "reserves" may be more questionable, like the NCInnovation "reserve" that would recieve $1.4 billion under the Senate budget, and the $10 million that would go to the "Economic Development Project Reserve."
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Your Email Address ( your email address will not be published)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 )

North Carolina Parents’ Bill of Rights Advances Statewide, John Locke Foundation Guest Editorial, Editorials, Government, Op-Ed & Politics, State and Federal Latest VinFast News Provides Another Red Flag for NCInnovation


Latest State and Federal

House Republicans are probing the State Department over its “perception” of former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin in 2015 after then-Vice President Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to the country if Shokin was not fired.
A Brunswick County charter school management organization that has been at the center of a legal controversy over the dress code at one of its schools gets high marks for student test scores, according to a new analysis.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) took shots at multiple Democrat officials in a new episode of his podcast as he touched on current events across the U.S.
Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said in an interview over the weekend that he is in a relationship with a woman which come as questions have swirled over why he is not married.
New U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens said during an interview that aired on Sunday that the Mexican drug cartels are flooding the U.S. border with illegal immigrants in part as a distraction so they can smuggle drugs, criminals, and weapons into the U.S.
President Joe Biden faced a wave of backlash on social media after he claimed to have visited Ground Zero in New York City one day after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
The Biden administration has signed off on a deal to release five Iranian prisoners and $6 billion in frozen assets in exchange for five Americans held captive in Iran.


WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insisted that any allegation that his organization was close to China was an “outright lie.”
For the second year in a row, North Carolina has earned the top spot in CNBC’s annual “America’s Top States for Business” ranking. Gov. Roy Cooper wasted no time taking credit in an interview with CNBC, but as usual there’s more to the story.
The White House appeared to blow off criticisms after President Joe Biden became the first sitting U.S. President to not make an appearance at any of the official memorial sites on September 11: Ground Zero
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas complained on Monday of a “broken immigration system” when asked to respond to a warning from New York City Mayor Eric Adams about the migrant crisis.
HuffPost White House correspondent S. V. Date used the 22nd anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks to claim that former President Donald Trump was worse than “Osama bin Biden.”
Hundreds of gun owners took to the streets of Albuquerque over the weekend to openly carry their firearms in defiance of the state’s Democrat governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, who unilaterally decided to suspend laws allowing open and concealed carry in the area.
A new report showcases how North Carolina supported and invested in its child care programs so they could remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving the state’s early childhood education infrastructure and setting it apart from other states.


Texas Governor Greg Abbott shared a video on social media this week showing President Joe Biden’s Border Patrol cutting razor wire that the state of Texas had placed alongside on the Rio Grande to stop illegal aliens from flooding into the country.
Mourners were joined by current and former politicians Monday for a somber ceremony marking the 22nd anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Residents of the Village of Bald Head Island, a small community located off the coast of Brunswick County, are facing a substantial 21% tax hike as part of the recently approved budget by council.
There is a growing push for legislation to bar wealthy foreign billionaires like Switzerland’s Hansjorg Wyss from pouring hundreds of millions of dollars in support of leftist causes in the United States
Late Tuesday evening, Senate Bill 90, previously known as the Searches of Student’s Person bill, was almost entirely revised and reintroduced in the House under the new name of the Children’s Law Omnibus bill.
Scott Smith: "What should scare every American is that I had to take this, because I could not trust our justice system"
Tens of thousands of U.S. State Department emails were stolen by a group of China-based hackers who breached Microsoft’s email platform earlier this year, according to a Senate staffer.
President Joe Biden spent part of his overseas trip wringing his hands over the possibility that global temperatures could rise by 1.5°, calling the prospect “more frightening than nuclear war.”


Back to Top