BUDGET & TAXES

Sales tax hikes voted down in five NC counties

Five counties across North Carolina had the worst political timing this year: They asked voters to raise local sales tax rates amid sky-high inflation.

Groups criticize NC pension fund's ties to corporate landlord

Progress Residential is among the national companies in the headlines for buying up single-family homes to convert to rental properties, driving up home prices and making it harder for first-time homebuyers to buy property.

Revenue challenges at N.C. Industrial Commission

Speaking of budget shortfalls, the head of the N.C. Industrial Commission told lawmakers this week that it’s struggling to cover employee salaries from fee revenue alone.

DPS says it's facing major staffing shortages

Secretary of Public Safety Eddie Buffaloe sounded the alarm Thursday on major staffing vacancies facing the state’s juvenile detention facilities and law enforcement agencies.

EPA awards funding for air quality monitoring

North Carolina will get about $1 million of $53.4 million grants announced Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor air quality.

Tillis questions new SEC regulations

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis is among several senators raising concerns about the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Vilsack announces broadband money in Raleigh

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was in North Carolina on Thursday to announce a $17.5 million rural broadband grant that will provide high-speed internet to about 2,700 households, 100 businesses and 76 farms in Warren and western Halifax counties.

Beaches get storm damage money

North Carolina beaches from the Outer Banks south to Oak Island will get about $20 million in state funding for renourishment and other related projects, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality announced this week.

New American Indian Heritage Commission holds first meeting

State government’s newest commission kicked off on Friday, thanks to a provision included in last year’s state budget.

STEM programs could get more budget money

One potential outcome of the House Select Committee on Advancing Women in STEM’s work could come in next year’s budget: Wednesday’s meeting hinted at possible funding for programs that get more young people interested in STEM fields.

The cost of keeping up the governor's mansion

The conservative North State Journal publication had an eye-popping statistic recently: The state has spent $2,569,459 on repairs and renovations to the governor’s mansion since Gov. Roy Cooper took office at the beginning of 2017.

Wilson wants to fix imbalance in outdoor recreation

Reid Wilson, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, says there’s another side to the environmental justice issue beyond pollution problems that we don’t often think about.

Child care industry calls for help next year

Speaking of staff-related challenges, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services also heard Tuesday about a “fiscal cliff” that could affect child care centers next year.

Auditor dings A&T over painting contract

State Auditor Beth Wood is faulting N.C. A&T State University for failing to get competing bids for a facility painting contract. Wood’s office got involved after receiving a tip about the university’s relationship with G.S. Painting and Home Improvement.

Apprenticeship program expanding with $12M funding

As labor shortages continue, lawmakers got an update Wednesday on a $12 million infusion of funds to the state’s apprenticeship program included in last year’s budget.