News Reports (Page 654)

  • Court Rules on Child-Support Issue

    RALEIGH — North Carolina social-service agencies can provide financial incentives to families that adopt “special needs” children, but not all marriages last. What effect do these adoptive-assistance payments have in determining child-support payments? The answer, according to the state’s second-highest court, is they should be treated as income to the…

  • ’63 Law Ups Scotland’s Tax Bite

    RALEIGH — Clint Willis isn’t bitter toward Scotland County voters, even though they didn’t re-elect him to the county Board of Commissioners in November. He regrets only that he couldn’t put the brakes on residents’ growing property-tax burden. His hard feelings are reserved for what he thinks helped get him…

  • Colleges Lobby for More Funds

    RALEIGH — University, community college, and state budget office officials spent part of last week lobbying state legislators for more funding for higher education, while arguing against proposed line-item budget cuts. University of North Carolina President Molly Broad, UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser, and North Carolina A&T Chancellor James Renick…

  • Rate Freeze Allowed Despite Audit

    RALEIGH—Despite strong evidence that Duke Energy intentionally fudged its accounting in order to preserve its level of earnings, in 2002 the North Carolina Utilities Commission agreed to allow the utility to freeze its rates for five years through the Clean Smokestacks Act. Auditors from accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP, after…

  • The Tax and Spend Trap

    On top of $16 million tax hike enacted last year, county officials now ponder closing a $35 million budget gap with yet another tax hike. Time for a new approach.

  • Duke Doubted Smokestacks’ Merits

    RALEIGH—When the North Carolina Clean Smokestacks Plan was first presented to the Department of Natural Resources staff, several environmentalist groups and the state’s two investor-owned electric utilities already supported the legislation. But statements and information culled from e-mails, obtained from state agencies by Carolina Journal, show that Duke Energy did…

  • Smokestacks Built on Dubious Data

    RALEIGH—The North Carolina Clean Smokestacks Plan, the report on which the state’s landmark 2002 legislation was built, was written by a left-wing environmental group and contained assumptions based on what some call “junk science.” Environmental Defense, which produced the plan, believes the United States should sign on to the 1997…

  • Smokestacks Bill Helped Utilities

    RALEIGH—Contrary to the stated objectives of its supporters, the 2002 North Carolina Clean Smokestacks law — based on controversial environmental assumptions used to espouse questionable health benefits — may have been crafted to help protect the state’s two largest electricity suppliers from federal lawsuits and fines. The plan, signed into…

  • State Tax Endorses Disobedience

    RALEIGH — One way to reduce North Carolina’s estimated $1.5 billion budget deficit is to generate more revenue, while maintaining current spending levels. While perusing the state Department of Revenue Web site, a reader can find a little-known revenue-generating item that begs to be exploited. Since 1990, North Carolina has…