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The revised revenue forecast released today demonstrates how important the income tax is to our state’s ability to make investments that boost our economy. As legislators begin building the next state budget, they should protect the income tax, not scale it back or eliminate it as some have proposed.

The revenue forecast indicates that tax collections since the beginning of 2013 are on target to pay for critical services included in the Fiscal Year 2012-13 budget, thanks to the revenue generated by the personal income tax. The personal income tax has been the most consistent source of revenue to pay for education, transportation, and public safety in North Carolina, and recovered quickly after the Great Recession, according to the report released today by the non-partisan Fiscal Research Division.

Sales taxes have not rebounded nearly as well because consumer demand continues to be weighed down by economic concerns, including the state’s high unemployment rate. Read More

Earlier this month, North Carolina legislators began the months-long process of developing the two-year state budget that covers July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015. To kick-off this endeavor, non-partisan staffers have been providing members with an overview of current fiscal conditions as well as past legislative budget actions. Perhaps the most important presentation to date centered on the revenue forecast, which sets the stage for legislators to begin building the next state budget.

Projections from the non-partisan Fiscal Research Division indicate that General Fund revenue collections are on target as of the end of December for FY2012-13. North Carolina’s economy has made improvements over the last fiscal year but continues to lag behind the nation across several economic indicators. And although the state does not face an imminent budget crisis—largely due to a tremendously diminished baseline—the forecast implies that we are not completely out of the woods. Read More