The following editorial appeared in the Fayetteville Observer:
Sometimes when the doctor says we won’t feel a thing, we really don’t. And when Dr. McCrory says that about the $2 billion bond issue that’s on our March primary ballot, he’s not kidding. The Connect NC bonds will pay for repairs, expansions and new buildings on university and community college campuses across the state, and also will finance projects in agricultural research and in state parks.
Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, has insisted all along that the bonds wouldn’t increase anyone’s taxes or cause any damage to the state’s excellent credit rating.
This week, State Treasurer Janet Cowell, a Democrat, agreed. The magic number, she said, is keeping debt service within 4 percent of the state general fund tax revenue. The bonds will hold debt payment considerably below that level.
What Cowell didn’t add is that the state’s revenue picture is steadily improving, bolstering legislative leaders’ contention that we’ll be able to fund badly needed highway repairs and expansions through general revenues and our highway trust funds. McCrory had originally proposed a much larger bond issue, with a billion or more dollars going into big highway projects. If Cowell is right, we can have our cake and eat it, too.
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