Correcting the context of the proposed sales tax hike

Governor Bev Perdue’s new push for an increase to the sales tax has come packaged with two misleading assertions (to put it gently). Terry Stoops, JLF’s education specialist, already did an excellent job explaining that the purported 49th placing for per-pupil education funding lacks solid basis.

The other point from Perdue’s release, though, is that she has “cut spending to eliminate waste and make government more efficient.” Unfortunately, this second myth continues to travel, but it is simply not true.

As I’ve noted in an earlier post, between 2009 (when Perdue took office) and 2011 fiscal years, the state’s total spending actually increased by 4.1 percent, accounting for inflation. Like other states during that period, North Carolina’s unwillingness to cut spending also meant becoming more dependent on federal (debt-enabled) funds.

Fergus Hodgson

Director of fiscal policy studies at the John Locke Foundation, policy advisor with The Future of Freedom Foundation, and host of The Sta...

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