Report: NC state spending at lowest level in 14 years
New state budget for Fiscal Year 2010-11 has the lowest per capita spending since 1996-97
RALEIGH (July 9, 2010) -- State spending has fallen to its lowest level in 14 years, a new report from the NC Justice Center's Budget & Tax Center finds.
The report, by BTC director Elaine Mejia, says that passage of the new budget reflects the gradual erosion of the state's tax base and a deep, prolonged recession.
"The notion that state spending is out of control is a myth," Mejia said. "In fact, North Carolina has significantly cut state spending per person on vital human and economic needs."
Measured as a share of the state's Total Personal Income, state spending has dropped considerably, from a high of 8.16% in FY 1998-99 to 5.8% in FY 2010-11. State spending per capita is now at the lowest level since FY 1996-97, dropping $311 over the past three years.
Public funding for important investments, Mejia cautions, must be preserved in order to stabilize and grow the state's economy.
"In the past two years, lawmakers have enacted deep and damaging cuts to the public systems that undergird the state's economy by training the workforce of tomorrow and keeping the state's population safe and healthy," Mejia writes in the report. "As the economy continues its slow recovery, public funding for these important investments must be maintained, and even increased, in order to push North Carolina forward."