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Crescendo may not be the final note; $1B in additional revenue projected

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(The Center Square) – Lucky 13.

To be fair, North Carolina’s economic pulse has hardly just arrived. The low point was just prior to 2011, and the crescendo from the Legislative Building on Jones Street this week was a report from the Financial Research Division estimating $1 billion in additional revenue.

That’s a long way from teacher furloughs, multiple layers in a tax bracket reaching 7.75% to rank higher than any Southeast neighbor, and gross state product below the national average. It began with Republicans, for the first time since Reconstruction following the Civil War 140 years earlier, winning both chambers and doing so by overcoming districting maps drawn by Democrats.

Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue was yielded impotent her final two years, a Republican won the governor’s mansion for only the third time since 1901 during the 2012 Obama reelection campaign, and tax reform and fiscal responsibility followed.

House Speaker Tim Moore said, “Today’s revenue forecast is a sign that North Carolina is on the right track. Our conservative approach to responsible spending has been effective in strengthening our economy and attracting business to our state. When those businesses bring thousands of jobs to North Carolina and our economy is strong, all of North Carolina wins.”

In a fiscal crisis a baker’s dozen years ago, the state will own a rainy day reserve of nearly $5 billion, a 6.7% increase in gross state product, and statewide wages and salaries up 6.2% year-over-year in March.

This month’s Rich States, Poor States from the nonprofit American Legislative Exchange Council pegged North Carolina fourth in economic outlook and 11th for performance over the last 10 years. CNBC last July named the state a back-to-back No. 1 in its America’s Top States for Business. Site Selection magazine last May made it a three-peat for North Carolina as the winner of its Prosperity Cup.

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