Local Politics

Lawmakers try to grasp stimulus funding

Posted February 25, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Stimulus funds might not help bail out North Carolina's ailing economy.

Lawmakers on Wednesday afternoon found out that although the state’s $6.1 billion share of the federal stimulus package could have a positive impact, federal tax cuts could drastically hurt North Carolina's future tax revenues because state tax code mirrors federal tax code.

Lawmakers try to grasp stimulus funding Lawmakers hear more on stimulus plan

"That could cost the state $200 million this year, and I mean by the end of this year's fiscal because of some provisions that are enacted right away and more than $250 million in 2009-2010," Roland Stephen, with the Research and Policy Institute for Emerging Issues, told lawmakers at a legislative meeting.

Without getting into too many specifics, the state's stimulus czar, Dempsey Benton, provided state lawmakers with a broad overview of how the state plans to spend the money.

"This is a huge undertaking, and Mr. Benton and his team are going to have their challenge. And how will it be immediate? I don't think so," Sen. David Hoyle, D-Gaston, said.

Benton promises the stimulus will create immediate jobs, and he promised full transparency in how it is spent.

"In terms of the projects we are considering, we're going to stand up our Web site in the next week or so."

After looking at the report and hearing Benton's presentation, lawmakers like Hoyle are expressing doubt and concern.

"I mean there's things in (the plan) to study. You know, $5 million, $2 million (to study issues). Time for studying is over with," Hoyle said. "We know what the problems are. We need some jobs."

Benton says states have 12 months to use the funding or they lose it. He says he doesn't plan on losing any of it.


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  • Worland Feb 25, 2009

    Did these guys ever go to college. Instead of the state losing their 3% of the $13 Obama tax break, they will recover 7% when the people spend their $13. Instead of getting 39 cents, they will get 91 cents. A 233% gain in revenue. Then the state gets to tax this money again at the end of the year when businesses do their taxes. Isn't capitalism grand?

    Not to mention that extra money people will have to spend will stimulate the economy creating jobs and even more revenue.

    Sadly, they don't teach economics at Harvard Law.

  • whatelseisnew Feb 25, 2009

    The more that comes out about this NOT a Stimulus plan, the funnier it gets. HA HA HAHAHA

  • 5Rs Feb 25, 2009

    "Benton promises immediate jobs" - yeah, staffing his organization to watch over what we are doing. Useful, huh?