Final Budget Statement
From the offices of Rep. Millis, Rep. Burr, Rep. Collins, Rep. Bishop, Rep. Hager, Rep. J. Bell, Rep. Avila, Rep. Blust, Rep. Brody, Rep. R. Brown, Rep. Cleveland, Rep. Conrad, Rep. Ford, Rep. Howard, Rep. Jones, Rep. Pittman, Rep. Riddell, Rep. Setzer, Rep. Speciale, Rep. Warren, & Rep. Whitmire:
As a result of our commitment to be a strong voice in Raleigh for creating an environment for prosperity, we have been diligently working to effect positive change throughout this legislative session, including the final budget conference report. While there may never be a budget document that will be considered perfect in the eyes of 170 different members, we feel that the final budget outcome is a major step in the right direction for North Carolina.
We support the final budget as the document includes many positive provisions for the taxpayers of our state. The conference report includes pro-growth tax reform measures that will result in a nearly $400 million dollar tax cut while adequately funding the core functions of state government. We believe that the citizens we represent will have greater opportunities to prosper by allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned money. By immediately increasing the standard deduction for all citizens, eliminating carve-outs for special interests, establishing a medical deduction, and lowering the personal income tax rate in 2017 to 5.49%, this budget heads in the positive direction of a lower and more uniform tax burden.
In addition to continued tax reform measures, this budget also ensures that all gas tax revenues stay in the Highway Fund for building and maintaining our state roads. By eliminating Highway Fund transfers for non-transportation infrastructure related uses, this budget will result in $216 million more dollars going annually towards transportation projects across the state. Along with greater accountability within transportation funding, the budget funds all Teaching Assistants, raises starting teacher pay, provides state employee/teacher step increases, and includes a long-term funding solution for Driver’s Education.
Throughout the budget process, there was a considerable reduction in special interest spending outside of the role of government. Since becoming the majority party in the legislature we have been focused on eliminating “pork barrel” spending, and while this budget is not perfect, it is a significant improvement from the original budget proposal.
This final budget is a testament of the positive results that can be achieved by uniting together in principle for the collective benefit of our constituents. We will support the final budget and we look forward to the prosperity that will result from a continued commitment to stand together.
Pro-growth tax reform measures
The budget includes pro-growth tax reform measures that allow the taxpayers to keep nearly $400 million more of their hard-earned dollars while adequately funding state government.
- Immediate tax relief by increasing the standard deduction to $15,500 for married filing jointly.
- Lowers the personal income tax rate to 5.49% in 2017.
- Creates an opportunity for economic growth by instituting a more competitive Single Sales Factor for corporate taxes.
- Eliminates many special interest tax carve-outs that prevent a lower tax burden for all by sun-setting the Renewable Energy Tax Credit, the Research and Development Tax Credit, and the Motorsports Tax Credit.
The budget instills fiscal responsibility by setting aside an additional $200 million for the state’s saving reserves and invests $400 million in the critical area of state repairs and renovations.
Gas Tax Revenues
The budget ensures that all gas tax revenues stay in the Highway Fund for transportation infrastructure. By eliminating Highway Fund transfers for non-transportation infrastructure related uses, this budget will result in nearly a quarter of a billion more dollars going towards greatly needed transportation projects across the state.
The budget addresses vital education needs:
- Funds all Teaching Assistants in the classroom.
- Includes a long-term funding solution to Drivers Education.
- Continues the commitment to raising education pay and funds all experience step increases.
Protecting Rights of Conscience
The budget eliminates state taxpayer dollars from going to organizations that provide abortions. This provision prevents taxpayers from indirectly funding organizations like Planned Parenthood.
The budget provides increased support for our public safety officials:
- State Highway Patrol will receive a market-based pay increase for those men and women protecting and serving the citizens of our state.
- Strongly invests in other justice and public safety needs that are a core function of state government.
Path to Medicaid Reform
The budget advances significant Medicaid Reform to provide care for citizens in need while bending the rising cost curve that pulls resources from other core functions of government.
Representative Chris Millis
609 Legislative Office Building
Raleigh, NC 27603