Updated forecast confirms historic opportunity to meet the needs of North Carolina communities and ensure a shared recovery from the pandemic
Economists in the Office of State Budget and Management and the General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division released an updated consensus revenue forecast today anticipating an additional $6.5 billion in state revenues through the next biennium. The revised forecast of $60.4 billion over the upcoming biennium provides a clear look at actual funding availability as legislative leaders and the Governor negotiate budget investments for the next two years. This forecast does not include funds received from the federal American Rescue Plan.
“These new numbers show unprecedented resources are now available to make transformational investments for our state. Even though the Republican Senate bill giving big tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy is bad policy, we have enough money to pass my entire budget plus all those tax breaks with more money still remaining. We must now negotiate a responsible bipartisan budget that addresses everyone’s concerns,” said Governor Cooper.
The revised June consensus forecast anticipates a total of $60.4 billion for the next biennium, with $29.7 billion in FY 2021-22 and $30.7 billion in FY 2022-23. The combined effect of the upward revisions to the February consensus forecast for the current year and the next biennium adds $6.5 billion to total General Fund availability through FY 2022-23.
The revised forecast was attributed to the economic boost provided by the American Rescue Plan and increased individual and corporate tax collections resulting from the economic recovery. Governor Cooper recommended a responsible spending plan that added $1 billion to the state’s Rainy Day fund and cut taxes to lower and middle class families while investing $27.3 billion in 2021-22 and $28.7 billion in 2022-23. The Governor’s budget provided funds to ensure a sound basic education for all NC students, increased access to job training and quality health care, and critical infrastructure projects to help communities grow and create good new jobs.
Legislative Republicans have yet to produce a budget proposal despite the end of the fiscal year being just two weeks away, instead squabbling to reach an agreement among Republicans to propose providing more tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations and imposing a spending cap that would leave billions of taxpayer dollars on the table instead of reinvesting these funds in North Carolina.