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Carolina Journal Radio No. 806: Lawmakers target more money toward hurricane relief

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
October 29, 2018 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 806: Lawmakers target more money toward hurricane relief

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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October 29, 2018 12:00 am

N.C. lawmakers have approved an additional $850 million for relief from damage inflicted by Hurricane Florence. That total exceeded the amount Gov. Roy Cooper requested, and the relief package earned unanimous support within the General Assembly. Becki Gray, John Locke Foundation senior vice president, analyzes key aspects of the relief package. Governments tend to like imposing “sin taxes” on items like alcohol and tobacco. But a new book titled For Your Own Good explores the potential negative consequences of sin taxes and other selective taxes that target disfavored groups. Co-editor Todd Nesbit, assistant professor of economics at Ball State University, explores key problems associated with selective taxes. Some lawmakers are raising concerns about an unpublicized office within the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles that offered driver’s licenses for selected state government employees. The office drew negative media scrutiny. And some legislators urged their colleagues to take a closer look into the matter. They also want to know why waiting times are so long at many public DMV offices. Governments often get involved in financing stadiums for privately owned sports teams. Many of those projects rely on selective taxes, including extra charges for car rentals or hotel and motel bills. Craig Depken, professor of economics at UNC-Charlotte, discusses unintended consequences associated with those taxes. With no presidential, gubernatorial, or U.S. Senate race on the North Carolina ballot this year, some observers are focusing most of their attention on six proposed constitutional amendments. The major parties have staked out positions: Republicans support all six, and Democrats oppose them. All living former governors and state Supreme Court chief justices have joined the debate on two amendments. And an activist group that often supports Republican causes is launching a campaign against one of the amendments. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, discusses recent developments in the amendment debate.

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