RALEIGH – Almost immediately after news that state government will collected nearly $357 million more in tax revenues than budget officials expected, N.C. Senate pro tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) have announced that they have reached an agreement on the total spending level for the 2018-2019 fiscal spending year.
#Breaking: strong revenue numbers enabled @NCHouseSpeaker and me to reach agreement on a $23.917 billion spending target for the FY 2018-19 budget. We’ll fulfill our commitment to passing a fifth consecutive teacher pay raise while keeping taxes low. #NCGA #NCPOL pic.twitter.com/QBufD4c4Th
— Senator Phil Berger (@SenatorBerger) May 7, 2018
The spending target represents a responsible 3.85 percent annual growth rate for the state budget, which will increase spending on key state priorities by roughly $886 million and still allow millions of North Carolinians to keep more of their own earnings.
“We fully expect that when Gov. Cooper releases his proposed budget, he will propose a return to the Democrats’ failed economic policies of high taxes and irresponsible spending that left our state totally unprepared for the Great Recession,” said Berger. “But legislative Republicans, unlike Gov. Cooper, have learned from the failure of Democrats’ liberal tax-and-spend economic schemes. Last year our members passed a responsible plan that promised a generous teacher pay raise and lower taxes for working families – and this year we’ll work quickly and efficiently to build on those promises.”
Lawmakers return to Raleigh next week to make adjustments to the two year budget, in what is known as the ‘short session.’ With multiple years of revenue surpluses, it may be time to think about cutting taxes again – it doesn’t seem to be hurting state government’s piggy bank at all.