State economists reported Tuesday that there could be an extra 6.5 Billion dollars in the next two years in North Carolina tax revenue. This amazing news comes as the General Assembly works to finalize this year’s budget and brings new opportunities and decisions for legislators over what to do with the additional funds.
Do they spend it, save it, cut taxes – and/or do they return the money to taxpayers?
News of this amazing windfall of tax revenue supports once again the premise that the Reform Majority in leadership of the NC General Assembly knows what they’re doing. And that their courage, discipline and wisdom in staying the conservative course when dealing with the people’s money has paid off.
According to the Associated Press, “Revenue collections for the year ending June 30 will be $1.9 billion more than was anticipated in February alone, according to a consensus forecast from Cooper’s state budget office and the legislature’s fiscal research office. This means the state should collect $29.5 billion by the end of the month — a whopping 23% higher than what was collected last year as the state fell into a COVID-19 recession caused by shuttered businesses and lockdowns. The state is on track to spend just under $25 billion this year.”
Just last week, House and Senate budget writers agreed on guidelines for the new budget.
Senate leader Phil Berger said last week he didn’t think “extra money will change what the House and the Senate agreed to” and that more money would provide “a little more cushion” to help with “infrastructure spending, replenish the state’s ‘rainy-day’ emergency fund or pay for other one-time spending.”
Yesterday, Senator Berger observed about the new revenue figures: “A huge surplus does not mean we’re spending too little. It means we’re taxing too much.”
Coming out of the COVID pandemic, state revenue projections that money from state taxes will grow at this rate is great news that the economy is cranking back up. Hopefully, this will bolster our collective hope that we are finally sailing once more out of the financial doldrums of the pandemic and that this will continue to give confidence to NC taxpayers that the conservative Majority leadership knows what they’re doing in the state’s financial matters.
Let’s just also hope that Governor Cooper will not drag down our state with a budget veto like he’s done in recent years just to make political points with his closest friends.