Civitas Review

Academic Study: NC's Spending Growth "Unsustainable"; Pension Liability Far Larger Than Reported

By | Posted in Budget & Taxes |

A new study released by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University takes a close look at financial health of North Carolina state government. Among the findings:

  • Real (inflation-adjusted) state spending per capita has increased fourfold in North Carolina since 1970. Three sources of revenue allowed for this increase: (1) tax increases, (2) increased debt, and (3) increased federal transfers.
  • North Carolina’s long-run spending trend is unsustainable
  • State spending as a percentage of GDP has more than doubled from 1970
  • The true shortfall in the state's pension system is $34.5 billion rather than $3.4 billion when using more realistic discount rates—a tenfold increase in the unfunded liability

Read the whole study here.

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