VIDEO: Counting Down the Top States for Economic Outlook – #2 North Carolina
We went from being kind of a mediocre state in terms of attracting business to a state that is experiencing a very dynamic economy. We have seen rising wages, rising opportunities, and we are really attracting folks from other states.
Our Policy Hour series on the top states for Economic Outlook continues with North Carolina. ALEC’s Jonathan Williams and Lee Schalk spoke with North Carolina Representative Jason Saine, Senior Chairman for Appropriations in the North Carolina House. Saine is also an ALEC Board Member and former ALEC National Chair. Saine discusses the string of tax reform victories over the past decade in North Carolina which led to his state’s climbing in the annual economic rankings in the 15th Edition of Rich States, Poor States.
Jonathan Williams: Representative Saine, you have been in the middle of all these discussions, can you walk us through some of the important inflection points in this history of how North Carolina has really turned things around?
Rep. Jason Saine: Thank you, Jonathan and Lee. It’s one of my favorite topics to talk about the reforms that we’ve passed in North Carolina over the last decade. We went from being kind of a mediocre state in terms of attracting business to a state that is experiencing a very dynamic economy. We have seen rising wages, rising opportunities, and we are really attracting folks from other states. We want them to enjoy what we’ve been able to do here by making it a much better place to do business a much better place to live and raise your kids. Families know they’ve got a future here in a state with low taxes.
This journey began back in 2011 when Republicans took over the State house and State Senate. We started with tax reform because decades before we had things like teacher furloughs and teachers going for years without pay increases. We had high taxes. We had a deficit. We had high unemployment. Things just didn’t look very good. We buckled down we made a lot of tough decisions. We decided not to expand government but find ways to trim back government and to only pay for things that are most important to the people of North Carolina and quit wasting money.
We were always focused on our commitment to our children. We knew that the proof was in the pudding and each time we made changes, we were proven right. And every time we had a governor who didn’t necessarily like our tax reforms when he ran, we noticed that the same governor never once missed a ribbon cutting welcoming a new business to North Carolina. Those new businesses openings were due in large part to our low tax policies.
I always say, if you were going to eat an elephant you wouldn’t eat an elephant in one bite. So, we have really taken a bite-sized approach but always keeping our end goal in mind.
We want to stay right there at the top. If we can catch Utah, but nevertheless even if we don’t get to number one, we’re still competing and it’s going to improve the economy for all of our citizens in North Carolina.