NC Budget and Tax Center

Report highlights that taxes and spending are not out of line in North Carolina

A report released by the Program Evaluation Division within the NC General Assembly highlights that North Carolina ranks in the middle of the pack, or better, among states for various taxes and spending metrics. For FY2009-10, metrics for which North Carolina ranked in the top half of states include:

  • Per capita state expenditures (12th lowest among states);
  • Per capita state and local taxes (17th lowest among states);
  • State and local taxes as a percentage of personal income (23rd lowest among states); and
  • Per capita state taxes (24th lowest among states).

These rankings disprove the claim that state spending and taxes in North Carolina are out of line. Our state ranks in the middle of the pack or on the lower end among states.

Additional information within the report highlights real challenges that North Carolina faces. North Carolina experienced the 6th highest percent change in population from 2001 to 2011 according to the report and ranked in the bottom half of states for a number of metrics, including: median household income (39th), unemployment rate (45th) the percentage of its population living in poverty (38th) and the percentage of its population under age 65 without health insurance (35th).

As lawmakers pursue tax reform during 2013, the claim that we need to cut taxes or eliminate whole revenue sources to be competitive doesn’t match up with these recent findings.

In particular, North Carolina should not look to its southern peer as gauges for action. Most southern states that rank better than North Carolina on taxes and spending outcomes perform worse than the state on other measures such as poverty, health insurance coverage and investment in public education – each of which impacts economic growth. Efforts to modernize the state’s revenue system should be guided by a commitment to ensure economic opportunity for all North Carolinians.

One Comment


  1. Doug

    February 26, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Yeah, looks like we need to work on what the state takes from us in taxes to get down in the 10-12 range and we would be much better off in these rankings.

Check Also

New budget a roadmap full of potholes and an unclear destination

A new BTC report highlights how the new ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

A pivotal legislative task force may be just beginning its dive into North Carolina’s school funding [...]

The controversy over “Silent Sam,” the Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus, has been ra [...]

North Carolina tries to mine its swine and deal with a poop problem that keeps piling up A blanket o [...]

This story is part of "Peak Pig," an examination of the hog industry co-published with Env [...]

Republicans in Congress are rushing to advance a tax reform bill that balloons the federal deficit s [...]

The post Charitable donations and the GOP’s chopping block appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

13---percentage of households in the U.S. that were food insecure on average from 2014-2016. Meaning [...]

Five years ago, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a jaw-dropping civil rights lawsuit again [...]

Spotlight on Journalism

We invite you to join a special celebration of investigative journalism! The evening will feature Mike Rezendes, a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe Spotlight Team known for their coverage of the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

Tickets available NOW!

Spotlight On Journalism

This event will benefit NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. Sponsorship opportunities available now!

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