Read the Fine Print: Special Provisions

Read the Fine Print: Court Costs

This article is part of a series lifting the veil on the numerous and profound changes to vital North Carolina programs and services made in the lengthy and wonky special provisions of the budget.  We’re starting with the special provisions in the House budget and will continue when the Senate releases its version of the budget.

Special provision in focus: Justice & Public Safety

This special provisions and the policy changes included can be categorized as:

  • Just plain sticking it to all those [insert type] people

Special provisions attached to the budget suggested by the House budget subcommittee on Justice and Public Safety outline over $80 million in new and increased court fees that are intended to offset state appropriations to the legal system. That’s a lot of dough by any standards, but the real kicker is that those dollars may exist mostly in the minds of legislators, not the wallets of those in the justice system. It’s completely unrealistic to assume that raising the statutory fees will result in 100% of the fee revenue forecasted. As anyone who has worked in or around the court system knows, not every plaintiff and defendant is flush with cash these days.

And talk about kicking people when they’re down – the special provisions suggest we should double the court fee assessed on foreclosures, from $150 to $300 per foreclosure. Yes, you heard that right. As we’re mucking our way out of a deep, dark recession caused mostly by wild financial speculation on mortgages and irresponsible lenders, our legislators have the gall to suggest that North Carolinians who are in the heartwrenching process of losing their homes should shoulder more of the cost of providing core government services.

Of course, we’ll probably be told it will all work out to our advantage because they’ll be cutting corporate taxes as part of the budget. So, the banks that wrote the mortgage to the family now in foreclosure will get a tax cut, and the family losing their house will just have to go a little bit deeper into debt than they already were thanks to the court’s new, higher foreclosure fee. Why would anyone object to THAT scenario?

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

The UNC Board of Governors is holding its last meeting of 2017 Friday, where the latest of its many [...]

Just south of Candler off the Pisgah Highway is a lovely piece of property on Little Piney Mountain [...]

Veteran North Carolina education policy expert Kris Nordstrom has authored a new and vitally importa [...]

When Joni Robbins, a section chief in the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, closes bidding next [...]

“All speech is free, but some speech is more free than others.” This seems to be the motto of the cu [...]

Trumpists prepare to raze another vital common good law It’s hard to keep up these days with the flo [...]

The post That’s how ‘Humbug’ is done appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

The solid citizens of Johnston County, N.C. – in a fateful quirk of geography – for several years ha [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more