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Was this the best expenditure of 0 million?
By Tom Campbell
January 8, 2009
North Carolina’s Council of State made quick work of approving (700) million in construction projects this week. Unfortunately, too few questions were asked as the Governor and other constitutionally elected members of the Council, with two exceptions, loudly boasted the approval would stimulate the economy and create 25,000 new jobs. It also increased state debt.
Putting the ballyhoo aside, permit us to ask the questions that should have been raised. Why were so few questions asked when the legislature approved, without serious debate, the incurring of this much debt last year? Why are we borrowing such a large sum of money without the approval of voters as our Constitution requires? This method of financing, called Certificates of Participation comes with a higher interest cost than General Obligation voter approved bonds. We will owe approximately billion in debt when borrowings for all approved projects are complete, with almost one-half that amount in non-voted debt. The last time voters approved borrowing was in 2001, the billion referendum consisting largely of university projects. Why are our leaders unwilling to consult with us on borrowing large sums of money? ...