State’s finances heading in right direction
ELIZABETH CITY – North Carolina, in a span of just two years, recently paid off a debt to the Federal Government of $2.8 billion – borrowed during the Perdue administration to fund unemployment benefits.
Though most of this money came from current operations, Gov. Pat McCrory reports that we will post a surplus, at the end of this fiscal year, of $400 million.
Both achievements are nothing less than magnificent!
That is the good news. The bad news is that Pasquotank County government has mismanaged the employee salary situation so badly, that elected officials are seriously considering raising property taxes.
This is a clear tale of two vastly different financial and political philosophies!
Just a few months ago — before the salary issue ever arose — County Commissioner Dixon heard from the County Auditor, that the county debt had been paid down.
His immediate response was how good that was because we could now borrow more money.
Recently, with the salary raise situation staring the commissioners in the face (increased costs for this alone estimated at approximately $500,000) Dixon asked his fellow Commissioners, “How much tax increase are you willing to accept?”
Pasquotank taxpayers know where he stands on the issue!’
McCrory has been roundly criticized for everything under the sun. But if we want economic improvement, investment in government and jobs, we need to reduce our costs.
The unemployment insurance debt of $2.8 billion was strangling our state. So when the governor appointed Dale Folwell, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, to manage the task, he knew what he was doing. Many people think that our State Government is still too bloated and overstaffed. But we cannot argue with the results.
Saturday in Elizabeth City, McCrory offered the Commencement address at Elizabeth City State University. He mentioned his unwavering support for the growth of the University, which was a welcome message for students, faculty and alumni. He pledged to recommend investments in the future of ECSU.
This would never have been possible without the surplus in the State Budget.
The Governor wants to use the surplus to finance various projects at ECSU and other projects in northeast North Carolina where he has targeted $14 million. He believes that with $8.2 billion in current debt — 75 percent of which will be paid off over the next 10 years — that this is the right time to issue bonds to pay for these new projects. Of course, there are people who disagree.
One thing for certain, the State will borrow money from a position of strength while our commissioners will do the same thing from a position of weakness.