The North Carolina House of Representatives released highlights of its balanced budget proposal for the 2017-2018 biennium, submitting a plan that supports successful government investment strategies contributing to revenue surpluses, rainy day reserves, rapid economic and population growth this decade.
The budget highlights released were provided to appropriations subcommittees for consideration and votes before the House’s full spending plan – including state employee salaries and benefits, further commitments to the savings reserves, disaster recovery allocations, tax cuts and other provisions – is released next week.
“As North Carolina families and businesses know, there’s a stark difference between wasteful spending and smart investing of their hard-earned money,” said House Speaker Tim Moore. “Budgeting taxpayer funds is no different, and the Republican-led House of Representatives has produced a far better return on investment with our budget strategy this decade compared to the failed policies of last decade.”
“Our state could simply spend the revenue surpluses, rainy day reserves and taxes we collected without any positive results or return on investment – governments do it all the time,” Moore continued. “North Carolina House Republicans have improved our state’s approach to budgeting to provide taxpayers with positive outcomes while returning billions in taxes back into the paychecks and pockets of our citizens.”
House Republicans have invested wisely this decade and rewarded taxpayers with a lower sales tax rate, lower income tax rates and lower taxes on businesses across North Carolina. The results:
- $447 million surplus in FY 2015
- $430 million surplus in FY 2016
- $581 million surplus in FY 2017
- $1.2 billion rainy day reserve
- $2.5 billion debt repaid
Last decade the Democrat-led General Assembly raised sales taxes in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009, and still dug a fiscal hole including a $2.5 billion debt and hundreds of millions of dollars in budget deficits for programs like Medicaid, for Republicans to fix in 2011.
“Taxpayers funds belong to the citizens who worked for them,” said Senior Appropriations Committee Chairman Nelson Dollar (R-Wake), “and they expect us to be good stewards of their hard-earned tax dollars just as they are with money for their families and businesses.”
“Our goal is to set the right priorities and ensure our citizens’ tax dollars are spent wisely in ways that will improve our schools, grow our economy and improve the quality of life for all North Carolinians,” Dollar continued.
“House Republicans have thought critically and planned ahead with investment strategies that produce real results that speak for themselves, allowing our state to fulfill its immense potential.”
This Decade: Teacher pay raises every year since 2013.
Last Decade: Teacher pay cuts in 2009 after lagging all decade.
This Decade: Lower sales tax rates, lower income tax rates, lower corporate tax rates, billions in taxpayer savings.
Last Decade: Sales tax increase in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009, billions in higher taxes on North Carolinians.
“There will always be pressure to spend more in state government,” said Appropriations Chairman Dean Arp (R-Union). “This includes the historic desire to shackle the taxpayers with more long-term debt that will lead to higher taxes in years ahead.”
“A key difference is the House prefers smart investments that produce results instead of wasteful spending that produce higher taxes, deficits, and debt. We are creating jobs while living within our means, ensuring a fiscally sound state that enables our taxpayers to keep more of their hard-earned dollars.”
“House lawmakers continue to pursue a common sense, conservative approach that is a paradigm shift in funding state government. Properly funding state government allows us to meet essential needs while living within our means, just as each of us does with our households,” Arp continued.
ECONOMIC ACCOLADES FOR NORTH CAROLINA 2016-2017
- North Carolina to post substantial budget surplus 3rd year in a row as estimated 31 states grapple with shortfalls. Tax Foundation May 2017
- North Carolina tourism generates record visitor spending in 2016. WRAL May 2017
- North Carolina ranks #1 in Site Selection’s Magazine’s Prosperity Cup, an index of economic drivers. Triangle Business Journal May 2017
- Unemployment drops in North Carolina, state adds 111,111 jobs over year. NC Department of Commerce April 2017
- North Carolina hotels set record high occupancy rates; room revenue growth doubles national average. VisitNC Lodging Report March 2017
- North Carolina excels in Fiscal Survey of States. National Association of State Budget Officers March 2017
- North Carolina ranked #1 in the United States for IT employment growth by Tech Association study. Triangle Business Journal February 2017
- Raleigh and Charlotte named #2 and #7 in “America’s Top Spots for Tech Jobs. Forbes August 2016
- North Carolina has had the country’s fastest-growing economy. Politifact April 2016
- By G.D.P., North Carolina had fastest growing large economy in the nation.’ Triangle Business Journal March 2016
“Despite their never-ceasing commitment to raising taxes and spending every dime collected by the state last decade, Democrats left North Carolina in terrible shape with no savings reserve or financial plan to rebuild,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Justin Burr (R-Stanly).
“A smart investment strategy requires hard choices,” Burr continued. “Rather than seeking to satisfy every agency request for more and more funding every year – rest assured they’ll be back for more next year – House lawmakers look ahead and fund critical needs to produce positive investments for North Carolina taxpayers and return savings into their pockets and paychecks.”