North Carolina just made an elite list of states with the worst budget management in the country, alongside some perennial disaster case states.
Wall Street 24/7 has named North Carolina to its list of the 10 States With the Most Trouble Paying Their Bills. On the list with North Carolina are Nevada, Washington, Illinois, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey and Arizona.
To the authors of the piece, North Carolina’s numbers — especially the 30.6 percent budget shortfall as a percent of the general fund — are clearly puzzling because the state has not suffered the economic hardships several others on the list have.
Compared to most states, North Carolina actually fared relatively well during the worst years of the recession. GDP and home values increased substantially, while median income and poverty rates did not worsen by much. Despite this, the state has had high budget gaps for each of the past three years.
What makes this even more puzzling is a recent tax study by the Chief Financial Officer of the Government of the District of Columbia that showed that Charlotteans paid some of the highest state income taxes and combined local and state sales taxes in the nation.
The question essentially raised by Wall Street 24/7 is a good one. Where the heck is all the money going? Why do we have these problems when it doesn’t appear that we should?
What’s even crazier is that our governor wants to raise state taxes to add/keep positions paid for by stimulus money that is going away, but not enough to actually debate the GOP in public on the issue.