The North Carolina House of Representatives passed as $23 Billion budget which makes significant investments in Educations, Transportation, and boosts the Rainy Day Fund to $1.84 Billion.
The budget provides tax relief for middle class North Carolinians, and increase education funding and teacher pay, and boosts the state “Rainy Day Fund” by $263 million to over $1.84 billion. While adding to savings, the budget is a 4.3% increase over FY 2016 – 2017. Highlights:
– Increases education funding by $700 million and provides the 4th consecutive year of increasing teacher pay. The average teacher salary increase is close to 10% over 2 years.
– Veteran teachers with 15 – 24 years of experience are getting the biggest raises – some increases as large as $5,700 over 2 years – as budgets gets them to the higher pay “step” sooner.
– Adds over $1B over 2 years for state employees including teachers, principals, highway patrol, magistrates and court clerks.
– Provides tax relief for middle-class families by increasing the standard deduction to $20,000 starting 2019. This means that families making less than $20,000 will pay no state income tax. There will be and additional 95,000 low-income families who will now be exempt from paying state income tax.
– Reduces the corporate tax rate on job creators from 3% to 2.5% starting in 2019, which is the lowest of any state which has a corporate tax.
– Reduces income tax rate for all individual North Carolinians and most small business from 5.75% to 5.25%.
– Reduces waiting list for Pre-K slots by 75% by adding funding for 3,525 additional students over 2 years.
– Invests an additional $320 million for Strategic Transportation Investments. These are many of the typical road improvement projects constructed by NCDOT.
– Provides $115 million to state’s 10 commercial airports – including Charlotte Douglas International Airport – to fund strategic capital projects.
– Provides an additional $100 million in disaster relief for eastern North Carolina related to Hurricane Matthew.
Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the budget, and the General Assembly quickly overrode the veto.