The North Carolina House of Representatives released highlights of its balanced budget proposal for the 2017-2018 biennium on Thursday, submitting a plan that continues to advance successful government investment strategies contributing to revenue surpluses, rainy day reserves, rapid economic and population growth this decade.
The budget highlights released on Thursday were provided to area 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.
Since first assuming the majority in 2011, House Republicans have invested wisely and rewarded taxpayers with lower sales tax rates, lower income tax rates, and lower taxes on businesses. The results have been impressive:
- $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 — yet they still managed to dig a fiscal hole, including $2.5 billion in 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. “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.”
- 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. “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,” continued Representative Arp. “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.”