BTC BRIEF: Worse Than Worst Case? Even Governor Perdue's Worst-Case Cuts Will Still Require More Revenue
Even the worst-case budget cut scenarios of 10 percent for public schools, community colleges, and universities and 15 percent for all other state agencies will come up $1.1 billion short of closing the state’s $3.7 billion estimated revenue shortfall next year.
Closing the shortfall with additional cuts to non-education agencies would force acrossthe- board cuts of 27 percent compared to this year and more than one-third compared to pre-recession levels. Cuts of this magnitude would jeopardize long-term investments in North Carolina’s public structures and would compromise public safety, environmental protection, and the health of communities across the state.
Raising revenue equal to the amount in the current temporary tax package—just under $1.4 billion—would merely hold the line at the “worst case” scenarios proposed by state agencies. Comprehensive revenue reform could raise even more revenue and preserve many of the public investments in initiatives like Smart Start, More At Four, smaller class sizes, and community-based care that North Carolinians overwhelmingly support and that save the state money in the long run.