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State has additional $6.5 billion in state revenues to spend this biennium

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Gov. Roy Cooper sent out a press release today revealing the latest consensus revenue forecast, which puts North Carolina $6.5 billion ahead for the biennium that extends through 2022-23.

The state is looking at a total of $60.4 billion through 2022-23, with $29.7 billion of that in the first year and $30.7 billion in the second, according to the press release.

“These new numbers show unprecedented resources are now available to make transformational investments for our state. … [W]e 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,” Cooper said in a press release.

The forecast does not include federal funding from the American Rescue Plan, according to Cooper’s press release.

A statement from Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said that the good news of the forecast doesn’t mean now is the time to spend.

“A huge surplus does not mean we’re spending too little,” he said in a press release. “It means we’re taxing too much.”

Meanwhile, House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said in a press release, “North Carolina’s overall fiscal policy has set the stage for a commitment to conservative tax policies and we will continue to work collaboratively with the Governor and the Senate to keep our state on an upward trajectory of economic growth.”

The Senate and the House only recently agreed to a spending cap for the biennium budget, and a Senate spending proposal is expected soon. After that, the House will present its proposal, the two chambers will negotiate, and the final budget will ultimately go to Cooper for his consideration.

Here is a link to a document about this most recent consensus revenue forecast from the Office of State Budget and Management.

Here is a link to a document about this most recent consensus revenue forecast from the fiscal research division of the General Assembly.

Alex Granados

Alex Granados is senior reporter for EducationNC.