How well is NC government doing?

By: By Brent Jackson - Contributing columnist

By Brent Jackson

Contributing columnist

Good afternoon,

I hope this message finds everyone doing well and enjoying their week. The Senate is preparing to wrap up its policy committee meetings for the session, so we are busy getting bills passed through the committee process. I still have several pieces of legislation that I am working on getting enacted into law. The House and Senate are still working on reaching a budget agreement. I am confident that we will be able to reach a consensus in the near future.

Yesterday, Senator Brown hosted a press conference to go over the sales tax reform proposal that we filed in a bill earlier this year and included in the Senate budget. Our plan would readjust the sales tax distribution from the current formula of 75 percent point-of-sale, 25 percent per capita, to an 80 percent per capita and 20 percent point-of-sale formula.

In recent years, many of our rural counties’ populations have increased at a faster rate than their economy. Since their revenues have not kept pace, local governments have struggled to fund necessary services for their larger populations. There is a current need for additional law enforcement officers, teachers, and new school buildings in these areas. Under this plan, sales tax dollars will be tied to individuals, and will stay in the community where the services are being provided. Many of these problems arose from a modification in the sales tax distribution that was made in 2007, which skewed the distribution to a mainly point-of-sale formula. This plan will correct that issue and ensure that the money people pay in sales tax is used in their community.

For District 10 alone, this means $7,955,478 more in revenue for Johnston County, $1,005,226 for Sampson County, and $890,068 for Duplin County in fiscal year 2016-2017. In total, over the next 5 years, Johnston, Sampson, and Duplin counties are expected to receive $42,660,978, $5,390,491, and $4,772,958 respectively in additional revenue.

Question of the Week

Thank you to everyone who responded to last week’s Question of the Week. Your responses were very diverse, which is a good representation of N.C.’s wide variety of agricultural products.

Among the responses, peaches, watermelons, corn, and sweet potatoes were all mentioned. Seafood was also brought up, which the Department of Agriculture and I do consider an agriculture product.

This week’s Question of the Week is going to be in the form of a survey, so I can gauge your view on a wide variety of issues.

How pleased are you currently with the way state government is being run in North Carolina?

  • Very pleased
  • Somewhat pleased
  • Neutral
  • Dissatisfied

What branch of state government do you think is functioning the best?

  • Executive
  • Judicial
  • Legislative

What areas do you think need more attention in North Carolina?

  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Law enforcement
  • Environmental protection

The House and Senate proposed budgets differ by about $800 million. What do you think about the spending levels in each budget?

  • The Senate and House both have spent too much
  • The House has spent too much
  • The Senate has spent to little
  • The House and Senate have both spent too little

There many outlets to keep up with state government news, where do you get most of your information about what goes on in Raleigh?

  • Local newspapers
  • Television news
  • Word of mouth
  • Radio news
  • Social Media

I would also like to give you a chance to ask me a question pertaining to the Senate. This week, I would like you to ask me a question and I will randomly select two questions to answer.

I look forward to hearing from you all!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist you in any way possible.

Brent Jackson is a N.C. senator representing District 10, which includes Sampson, Duplin and Johnston counties.

Brent Jackson is a N.C. senator representing District 10, which includes Sampson, Duplin and Johnston counties.