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    Entries in North Carolina (2)


    The Week in Public Finance: Do Income Tax Caps Only Benefit the Wealthy?

    North Carolina voters will weigh in on the rare policy in November.
    BY  SEPTEMBER 7, 2018
    The North Carolina Capitol (David Kidd)

    For a summary of November's most important ballot measures, click here.

    A proposed income tax cap in North Carolina survived a court challenge this week, leaving it to the voters to decide whether to lean in to what is a rare policy in state government.

    The November ballot measure would lower the state’s income tax rate cap from 10 percent to 7 percent. That’s still above the state’s current flat income tax rate of just under 5.5 percent. But in the past, the rate has been as high as 8.25 percent for high-income earners.

    Capping income tax rates is unusual. Georgia is the only other state that does so, with a 6 percent cap approved by voters in 2014.

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    How Refinancing Debt Can Help Pensions

    North Carolina wants to use existing low rates to shore up retiree pensions and health-care debt.
    BY  MARCH 8, 2017

    In the low interest rate environment, states and localities have been saving billions by refinancing old debt. In most cases, the savings have benefited the general fund balance. But in North Carolina, State Treasurer Dale Folwell is making a push to instead use those savings to pay down pension and retiree health-care debt.

    Starting this spring, Folwell plans to refinance “every dollar we possibly can.” He'll ask the General Assembly to divert the savings to the treasurer’s office, where he'll then divvy up the extra dollars: 15 percent goes into the pension fund and 85 percent goes toward retiree health-care debt, which has a larger unfunded liability.

    The approach has garnered rave reviews, but some question just how big a dent any such savings can make in an unfunded liability that in North Carolina totals nearly $38 billion between retiree pensions and health care.

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