The state budget is about our priorities for North Carolina, a reflection of what we value and how we plan to invest in our people and communities for the future. Indeed, in its best version, a budget can serve as a roadmap for how we ensure each and every community in our state thrives.
But for years our vision for North Carolina’s future has been arbitrarily constrained by policymakers because of their focus on cutting taxes for the rich and big companies, an approach that isn’t going to help our long-term economic growth and is reducing our annual revenue by at least $3.6 billion so that we can’t invest in opportunity today.
As House members gather to discuss proposals for how our tax dollars will be invested in our collective well-being and begin full debate on their proposal next week, here are some key issues that a House budget (and any budget for North Carolina) should address:
- The arbitrarily low level of public investments despite a growing state. North Carolina continues to spend at a 45-year low as a share of the economy which means that we aren’t providing the same foundation we did in years past even as we seek to support stronger economic performance. The research is clear that public investments in education, infrastructure, and health matter for our economic growth, potential, and quality of life. North Carolina can afford to make these investments if our leaders choose to invest in us rather than give tax cuts to the few.