Enactment of Local Accountability Measure Shows North Carolina is a Model for More Than Tax Reform

Jason Lee  |  August 17, 2023

"Over the past decade, reforms enacted in North Carolina have made the state a national trendsetter in tax reform, school choice, and spending restraint. The most recent reform enacted in North Carolina could make the state a model for reining in profligate and irresponsible local governments.


According to Cato: “[In March], the State Treasurer’s Office notified the municipal bond market that the state’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2022, would be late,” the Cato report notes. “The last time the state filed its report within the required nine-month reporting window was for its 2017 fiscal year.” 

Submitting government financial audits on time is important, the Cato report explains, because “the lack of audited, accrual‐ based financial data can lead to confusion over the state’s true fiscal condition.” Sheila Weinberg, Founder and CEO of Truth in Accounting, told Cato that the remedy is timeliness. 

Sheila stated: “Timeliness is an important characteristic of information in state financial reporting.” She added: “As the Governmental Accounting Standards Board highlights in its first concept statement, ‘If financial reports are to be useful, they must be issued soon enough after the reported events to affect decisions. Timeliness alone does not make information useful, but the passage of time usually diminishes the usefulness that the information otherwise would have had.’” 

The timeliness of financial reporting for local governments is important for the same reasons. North Carolina lawmakers have done an excellent job of keeping spending in check for most of the past decade. The enactment of SB 299 will incentivize greater accountability among local governments, which has not reflected the spending restraint practiced by state lawmakers. ATR commends the North Carolina General Assembly for their efforts in making sure local governments become more transparent and accountable to taxpayers by enacting SB 299."

Read the full article on: Americans For Tax Reform

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