Give the money back? Of course, you should.

Don Berger-ino , the capo di tuttiboss of all (political) bosses — in our fair capital city, is musing publicly about giving all that so-called “surplus” money currently being salivated over by special interests BACK to the people it was originally confiscated from.

We think that is a great idea, and have said so every time this whole “surplus” silliness pops up.  Government budgeting SHOULD be a zero sum game.  Surpluses and profits are desirable things in business, but NOT in government.  A surplus of tax revenue means you took waaaaaaaaaaaay too much money from the peasants back in April.  Just like a business that overcharges customers, there is an obligation to make amends and pay back the overage to the aggrieved, overcharged customers.

Here are some of the details:

North Carolina taxpayers could get money back under a plan being considered by top lawmakers on how to spend the state’s budget surplus.

The state is expected to collect more than $1 billion more than was forecasted for the fiscal year that begins on July 1

One way to spend that money: tax rebates.

“How much would we need to allocate to give $1,000 to every taxpayer?” said Senate leader Phil Berger, a Rockingham County Republican. “How much would we need to allocate to give $1,000 to each head of household or a certain amount to folks that have dependent children? I’ve asked those questions.”

Berger and his staff said they do not have those exact figures.

More than 4.9 million North Carolina residents filed taxes in 2021, the last year for which the NC Department of Revenue has data. Of those filers, more than 664,000 filed as a head of household and more than 960,000 of those returns claimed a child deduction.

If each person that filed a return were to get $1,000, the cost would somewhere around $4.9 billion. For head of household that figure would be $664 million and for those returns with a child deduction it would be $960 million.

If North Carolina were to divide $1 billion, the approximate surplus for next fiscal year, among the 4.9 million that filed a return  that would be $204 per return. If the $1 billion were split among heads of household filers that would be $1,506, and if it were split among those returns with a child deduction that would be $1,041.

Berger cautioned that the price tag may be too large to provide the type of money he envisions.

“The preliminary information is that the amount that would be necessary to do something like that, to have what I would consider to be a significant amount, a measurable amount, not $100 or $150, is probably going to be more than it would be practical for us to deal with,” he said.

Berger has said in the past that he prefers to see budget surpluses dedicated to savings, one-time spending or returns to the taxpayer.

In August 2019, Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore proposed using part of that year’s budget surplus for tax refunds of up to $125 for an individual or $250 for a couple. More than 5.1 million taxpayers would have received a refund and $663 million would have been sent out, according to the lawmakers.

That bill passed the Senate, but didn’t get a vote in the House. […]

*Thanks, congressman-in-waiting Tim Moore and speaker-in-waiting Destin Hall.*


[…] But this time around, Berger wants to see a larger amount.

“I don’t think there would be an interest in doing it unless the amount we could send out would be an amount that would make a difference, more than a half a tank of gas and stuff like that,” Berger added. “[…]

There don’t need to be any games here.  These guys took TOO MUCH money from us and NEED to make amends for it. At least the discussion is now headed in the right direction.