Regarding the Charlotte Observer column “A shortfall of candor” that you reprinted Feb. x: Taylor Batten confuses “revenue” with “budget” There is a $271 million “shortfall” from the 2014 prophecies about the 2014-2015 budget. The budget itself contains explicit language that the governor shall reduce expenditures to not exceed actual revenue. North Carolina does not print money or borrow for current expenses.
My point was that, after taking inflation and population growth into account, the state general fund will have as much revenue to spend this year as it did last year. And that is after significant cuts in personal and corporate income tax rates. This should be cause for celebration, not hand-wringing. It means that taxpayers have more money in their pockets while the state government has the same amount.
The “cautious, conservative consensus forecast” for the General Fund is $20,730,100,000. This is $586,400,000 more than collected in fiscal year 2013-14. That is a 2.9 percent increase, not a decrease. For that same time period, inflation plus population growth is estimated by our nonpartisan professional fiscal staff between 2.8 percent and 3 percent.
Batten missed the entire point I was making and omitted the relevant detail that I supplied his news organization on Feb 19.
Rep. Paul Stam
Speaker Pro Tem
The writer, a Republican,
represents N.C. District 37