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As we travel and meet with family this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, there are two items that are bound to be on most tables - turkeys and sweet potatoes. North Carolina is ranked first nationally in sweet potato production and second nationally for turkey production. The state's...
As we travel and meet with family this week for the Thanksgiving holiday, there are two items that are bound to be on most tables - turkeys and sweet potatoes. North Carolina is ranked first nationally in sweet potato production and second nationally for turkey production. The state's...
 
This week I will take a break from politics and spend time reflecting on the celebrations of our country's independence day. Former President John Adams wrote about his Independence Day visions nearly 240 years ago...
This week I will take a break from politics and spend time reflecting on the celebrations of our country's independence day. Former President John Adams wrote about his Independence Day visions nearly 240 years ago...
 
When America was a young country, the federal government had a much more prominent role to play in transportation than it does today. Federal transportation programs were heavily involved in the collaboration among the states to ensure consistent standards, interconnectivity of facilities, and...
When America was a young country, the federal government had a much more prominent role to play in transportation than it does today. Federal transportation programs were heavily involved in the collaboration among the states to ensure consistent standards, interconnectivity of facilities, and...
 
Today is Election Day for many local governments across North Carolina. While it is a big day, many of the races will be overlooked by major media outlets, despite the fact that they will actually affect citizens the most. Today, 92 counties are holding an elections of some sort, and many of them...
Today is Election Day for many local governments across North Carolina. While it is a big day, many of the races will be overlooked by major media outlets, despite the fact that they will actually affect citizens the most. Today, 92 counties are holding an elections of some sort, and many of them...
 
The Tax Foundation estimates that, once all reforms are fully phased in, North Carolina's overall business tax climate ranking will be 13th best in the country. According to the 2016 index, North Carolina is now ranked as the 15th most attractive business tax climate. Given where we started...
The Tax Foundation estimates that, once all reforms are fully phased in, North Carolina's overall business tax climate ranking will be 13th best in the country. According to the 2016 index, North Carolina is now ranked as the 15th most attractive business tax climate. Given where we started...
 
Every year the Tax Foundation publishes the State Business Tax Climate Index, which allows taxpayers, businesses, and policy makers an easy comparison of how their states' tax systems relate. This ranking of the states is based on tax policy has been very important in North Carolina over the last...
Every year the Tax Foundation publishes the State Business Tax Climate Index, which allows taxpayers, businesses, and policy makers an easy comparison of how their states' tax systems relate. This ranking of the states is based on tax policy has been very important in North Carolina over the last...
 
Traditionally, city and county Parks and Recreation (P&R) departments provided the public with parks and user-fee-supported sports leagues -- soccer, softball, etc. Now, many P&R departments have expanded well beyond these boundaries. Some provide uncommon services that benefit only a...
Traditionally, city and county Parks and Recreation (P&R) departments provided the public with parks and user-fee-supported sports leagues -- soccer, softball, etc. Now, many P&R departments have expanded well beyond these boundaries. Some provide uncommon services that benefit only a...
 
As the state continues to increase spending, many citizens have begun to suspect that the effectiveness of that spending is diminishing. North Carolina's balanced budget amendment was intended to create a fiscally responsible state that uses tax dollars wisely. However, over the last few decades...
As the state continues to increase spending, many citizens have begun to suspect that the effectiveness of that spending is diminishing. North Carolina's balanced budget amendment was intended to create a fiscally responsible state that uses tax dollars wisely. However, over the last few decades...
 
Many times we hear about the state of North Carolina entering into agreements with corporations to promote economic development, but did you know that local municipalities do the same?
Many times we hear about the state of North Carolina entering into agreements with corporations to promote economic development, but did you know that local municipalities do the same?
 
Increasingly, city officials have been using municipal-level resources to participate in economic development activities. These efforts have replicated approaches utilized by state and federal officials, albeit on a smaller scale. This study surveys North Carolina's most populous cities and...
Increasingly, city officials have been using municipal-level resources to participate in economic development activities. These efforts have replicated approaches utilized by state and federal officials, albeit on a smaller scale. This study surveys North Carolina's most populous cities and...
 
The majority of the state's operations are funded through the General Fund. There are, though, some major components of the state's expenditure that are located outside the General Fund. In short, the General Fund amounts to around $20 billion, while total state spending amounts to approximately...
The majority of the state's operations are funded through the General Fund. There are, though, some major components of the state's expenditure that are located outside the General Fund. In short, the General Fund amounts to around $20 billion, while total state spending amounts to approximately...
 
If you thought North Carolina was alone when it came to tardy budgets, think again. North Carolina joined Alabama and New Hampshire in passing budgets late last week. Now there are only two states left in the country without budgets, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
If you thought North Carolina was alone when it came to tardy budgets, think again. North Carolina joined Alabama and New Hampshire in passing budgets late last week. Now there are only two states left in the country without budgets, Illinois and Pennsylvania.
 
Guess what! Another budget extension has been passed by the General Assembly. Which means North Carolina is still without a spending plan for the current fiscal year. North Carolina's fiscal year began July 1st, with the state continuing operations under a temporary spending plan.
Guess what! Another budget extension has been passed by the General Assembly. Which means North Carolina is still without a spending plan for the current fiscal year. North Carolina's fiscal year began July 1st, with the state continuing operations under a temporary spending plan.
 
Existing businesses in North Carolina are taxed at rates below the national average, and new firms generally benefit from tax rates beneath national norms, making the Tar Heel State an attractive place to do business, a new study concluded.
Existing businesses in North Carolina are taxed at rates below the national average, and new firms generally benefit from tax rates beneath national norms, making the Tar Heel State an attractive place to do business, a new study concluded.
 
This past week I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at Americans for Prosperity's annual event, the Defending the American Dream Summit. I spoke about Washington's power grab and how the growth of federal agencies is threatening our laboratories of democracy. Many of us know that...
This past week I had the pleasure of being invited to speak at Americans for Prosperity's annual event, the Defending the American Dream Summit. I spoke about Washington's power grab and how the growth of federal agencies is threatening our laboratories of democracy. Many of us know that...
 
North Carolina lawmakers still cannot agree to a final budget. The Senate saw difficulty in compromise, so they decided to move their economic development and Medicaid reform plans out of the budget and into stand-alone bills. Unfortunately, even with this change, the two chambers were unable to...
North Carolina lawmakers still cannot agree to a final budget. The Senate saw difficulty in compromise, so they decided to move their economic development and Medicaid reform plans out of the budget and into stand-alone bills. Unfortunately, even with this change, the two chambers were unable to...
 
Each year the North Carolina General Assembly discusses how much is spent on state government. Many, including the John Locke Foundation, argue that a spending limit or cap should be in place. The call for such a cap has not been impromptu, but rather a reaction to inflation-adjusted state...
Each year the North Carolina General Assembly discusses how much is spent on state government. Many, including the John Locke Foundation, argue that a spending limit or cap should be in place. The call for such a cap has not been impromptu, but rather a reaction to inflation-adjusted state...
 
There are approximately 90,000 state and local governments in the United States. Most of these entities provide a defined benefit pension plan for public employees as part of their overall compensation. State governments employ 5.3 million people and local governments employ 13.8 million, with...
There are approximately 90,000 state and local governments in the United States. Most of these entities provide a defined benefit pension plan for public employees as part of their overall compensation. State governments employ 5.3 million people and local governments employ 13.8 million, with...
 
In North Carolina, the federal government owns 1.7 million acres, or 7.7 percent of the state. Federal land is found in nearly half of the state's counties, yet the majority of the federally owned land is concentrated in the western part of the state. Counties derive the majority of their...
In North Carolina, the federal government owns 1.7 million acres, or 7.7 percent of the state. Federal land is found in nearly half of the state's counties, yet the majority of the federally owned land is concentrated in the western part of the state. Counties derive the majority of their...
 
We hear a lot about the state of North Carolina and how much they give in economic development dollars to private businesses — but what about the counties? County governments have their own agendas when it comes to economic development and can choose whether or not to participate in these...
We hear a lot about the state of North Carolina and how much they give in economic development dollars to private businesses — but what about the counties? County governments have their own agendas when it comes to economic development and can choose whether or not to participate in these...
 
Over the last few weeks, debates in the North Carolina legislature have focused on the budget and the stark differences between the House and Senate versions. This week I would like to discuss more of the politics of the budget process and what that means for spending measures.
Over the last few weeks, debates in the North Carolina legislature have focused on the budget and the stark differences between the House and Senate versions. This week I would like to discuss more of the politics of the budget process and what that means for spending measures.
 
Senator Harry Brown said the Senate would not have budget votes this week as originally planned. "It may get delayed a few days," he said last week. "There's a few pieces where the provisions are just difficult to put together - some education provisions and (health and human services) provisions."
Senator Harry Brown said the Senate would not have budget votes this week as originally planned. "It may get delayed a few days," he said last week. "There's a few pieces where the provisions are just difficult to put together - some education provisions and (health and human services) provisions."
 
The Senate is still in negotiations about their version of the budget. We know just a few things about what the Senate is working on from the sub-committee appropriations meetings and from comments members have made to the media. One of the senior budget writers, Senator Harry Brown (R-Onslow) told
The Senate is still in negotiations about their version of the budget. We know just a few things about what the Senate is working on from the sub-committee appropriations meetings and from comments members have made to the media. One of the senior budget writers, Senator Harry Brown (R-Onslow) told
 
Everyone is talking about the $22 billion+ House Budget and what will happen to the spending plan now that it has crossed chambers and is in the hands of the Senate. Senate leaders will be meeting all this week to start their preparations before it is debated in sub-committees. We should expect a...
Everyone is talking about the $22 billion+ House Budget and what will happen to the spending plan now that it has crossed chambers and is in the hands of the Senate. Senate leaders will be meeting all this week to start their preparations before it is debated in sub-committees. We should expect a...
 
Late last week, the NC House began to release some of the details of its budget in sub-committees. Shortly after lunch on Monday the House released its full budget plan to the public. The bill, House Bill 97, will be voted on in a full appropriations committee meeting today and then sent to the...
Late last week, the NC House began to release some of the details of its budget in sub-committees. Shortly after lunch on Monday the House released its full budget plan to the public. The bill, House Bill 97, will be voted on in a full appropriations committee meeting today and then sent to the...
 
Last week the Gaston County commissioners voted unanimously to give themselves and future commissioners health insurance benefits for life at the taxpayers' expense after serving one term. Gaston County is already struggling to pay the cost of health insurance for its full-time employees...
Last week the Gaston County commissioners voted unanimously to give themselves and future commissioners health insurance benefits for life at the taxpayers' expense after serving one term. Gaston County is already struggling to pay the cost of health insurance for its full-time employees...
 
North Carolina's State Park System is made up of 34 state parks, four state recreation areas, and three state natural areas that cost state government $50.8 million last fiscal year. There is no entrance fee to the state parks, and the system currently only generates revenue from camping fees...
North Carolina's State Park System is made up of 34 state parks, four state recreation areas, and three state natural areas that cost state government $50.8 million last fiscal year. There is no entrance fee to the state parks, and the system currently only generates revenue from camping fees...
 
Gov. Pat McCrory's proposal to establish a new state government department for information technology makes sense. But lawmakers should revisit a similar proposal for a department targeting veterans affairs. Those are two key findings from a new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.
Gov. Pat McCrory's proposal to establish a new state government department for information technology makes sense. But lawmakers should revisit a similar proposal for a department targeting veterans affairs. Those are two key findings from a new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report.
 
For the last 90 years, North Carolina has been providing support and assistance to veterans and their families. In response to World War I, the General Assembly established the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs (NCDVA) as part of the Commission of Labor in 1925. After the Second...
For the last 90 years, North Carolina has been providing support and assistance to veterans and their families. In response to World War I, the General Assembly established the North Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs (NCDVA) as part of the Commission of Labor in 1925. After the Second...
 
This week brought every American's favorite day, April 15th. Hopefully you filed and paid your taxes by the Wednesday deadline, but do you know exactly how long it took you to pay those taxes? If we add up every tax you have to pay - federal, state, property, etc. - how long would you have to...
This week brought every American's favorite day, April 15th. Hopefully you filed and paid your taxes by the Wednesday deadline, but do you know exactly how long it took you to pay those taxes? If we add up every tax you have to pay - federal, state, property, etc. - how long would you have to...
 
This week brought every American's favorite day: April 15. Most of us knew that we were required to file and pay taxes by the Wednesday deadline. But do you know exactly how long it took you to complete enough work to pay for those taxes? If we add up every tax you have to pay...
This week brought every American's favorite day: April 15. Most of us knew that we were required to file and pay taxes by the Wednesday deadline. But do you know exactly how long it took you to complete enough work to pay for those taxes? If we add up every tax you have to pay...
 
In Governor McCrory's Recommended Budget for the 2015-17 biennium, he suggested the creation of a cabinet-level department, the Department of Information Technology (IT). Whenever the government suggests creating a new department or agency, it must weigh the cost of creating the department...
In Governor McCrory's Recommended Budget for the 2015-17 biennium, he suggested the creation of a cabinet-level department, the Department of Information Technology (IT). Whenever the government suggests creating a new department or agency, it must weigh the cost of creating the department...
 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown (R-Onslow) introduced legislation on Monday to reform the state sales tax system. The state levies a 4.75 percent sales tax, while counties levy an additional two percent. The two percent is the focus of the bill, and is currently composed of three different...
Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown (R-Onslow) introduced legislation on Monday to reform the state sales tax system. The state levies a 4.75 percent sales tax, while counties levy an additional two percent. The two percent is the focus of the bill, and is currently composed of three different...
 
How much does North Carolina's government spend? A simple question, but unfortunately there's not a simple answer.
How much does North Carolina's government spend? A simple question, but unfortunately there's not a simple answer.
 
State lawmakers have started reviewing Gov. Pat McCrory's budget proposal for the 2015-2017 biennium. It sets out McCrory's General Fund spending plan for $22 billion in each of the next two fiscal years. The General Fund makes up a significant chunk of the overall state budget of more than...
State lawmakers have started reviewing Gov. Pat McCrory's budget proposal for the 2015-2017 biennium. It sets out McCrory's General Fund spending plan for $22 billion in each of the next two fiscal years. The General Fund makes up a significant chunk of the overall state budget of more than...
 
Last week Gov. Pat McCrory released his budget proposal for the 2015-2017 biennium, his spending plan for $22 billion in each of the next two fiscal years. While there are some positive spending decisions in this budget, there are also some discouraging choices in certain areas of government...
Last week Gov. Pat McCrory released his budget proposal for the 2015-2017 biennium, his spending plan for $22 billion in each of the next two fiscal years. While there are some positive spending decisions in this budget, there are also some discouraging choices in certain areas of government...
 
Tough decisions need to be made during this legislative session, but are they being made in the best interest of the taxpayer or in the spirit of efficient government? Two questions came before the House Finance and Appropriations committees on Tuesday, a change to the state's gasoline tax as...
Tough decisions need to be made during this legislative session, but are they being made in the best interest of the taxpayer or in the spirit of efficient government? Two questions came before the House Finance and Appropriations committees on Tuesday, a change to the state's gasoline tax as...
 
New Bern may be best known as the birthplace of Pepsi Co., the world's third largest food and beverage company. But it is also home to one of North Carolina's most financially unstable tourist attractions — Tryon Palace — and the neighboring North Carolina History Center.
New Bern may be best known as the birthplace of Pepsi Co., the world's third largest food and beverage company. But it is also home to one of North Carolina's most financially unstable tourist attractions — Tryon Palace — and the neighboring North Carolina History Center.
 
This holiday used to be a day to do something special for the one you love — today it is a moneymaking event for retailers and the government alike. The National Retail Federation hosts an annual Valentine's Day Survey that focuses on what people will spend their money on for the holiday...
This holiday used to be a day to do something special for the one you love — today it is a moneymaking event for retailers and the government alike. The National Retail Federation hosts an annual Valentine's Day Survey that focuses on what people will spend their money on for the holiday...
 
Before the governor and legislators release their versions of the state budget, a very important source of information is needed - a comprehensive assessment of the state's debt status. Each year the Treasurer's office releases a Debt Affordability Study, which outlines the state's debt...
Before the governor and legislators release their versions of the state budget, a very important source of information is needed - a comprehensive assessment of the state's debt status. Each year the Treasurer's office releases a Debt Affordability Study, which outlines the state's debt...
 
The question of whether our state government ought to subsidize historic preservation is distinguishable from the question of how government should deliver those subsidies.
The question of whether our state government ought to subsidize historic preservation is distinguishable from the question of how government should deliver those subsidies.
 
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