• Research Report

    Wind Power and the Ridge Law: N.C. Legislature Should Stop Providing Special Treatment for Wind Power

    posted August 23, 2009 by Daren Bakst
    Wind power advocates are pushing for commercial wind turbines along the mountain ridgelines - the mountains and the coast are the only locations where wind is viable in North Carolina. These commercial wind turbines can be as tall as 500 feet or the height of 50-story skyscrapers. The Ridge Law generally prohibits most tall buildings over 40 feet from being built along the ridgelines.
  • Research Report

    Why North Carolina Should Not Build High-Speed Rail

    posted June 24, 2009 by Randal O’Toole
    Because of their high costs, tiny benefits, and interference with property rights, North Carolina should not attempt to provide high-speed rail service. Instead, it should use its share of the $8 billion stimulus funds solely for incremental upgrades, such as safer grade crossings and signaling systems, that do not obligate state taxpayers to pay future operations and maintenance costs.
  • Research Report

    Mental Health Reform: Steps Toward Improvement

    posted October 14, 2008 by Joseph Coletti
    Mental health reform began in 2001, but has had disappointing results. This paper examines major areas of the mental health system – care management, criminal justice, provider networks, supplemental services, and payment. It offers some evolutionary steps toward improvement.
  • Research Report

    Charlotte’s LYNX Line: A Preliminary Assessment

    posted October 5, 2008 by Dr. David Hartgen
    Dr. David Hartgen analyzes the Charlotte LYNX Line, finding, among other things, that final LYNX construction costs are about $521.9 million, about 130 percent above the initial estimate ($227 million), operating costs are about $9.22 million/year, and revenues are averaging about 31 percent of operating costs.
  • Research Report

    Fiscal Transparency in N.C.: Surveying state and local governments

    posted May 13, 2008 by Joseph Coletti, Chad Adams
    Citizens don’t have the ability to easily track how state and local governments spend their tax dollars — but they should. Budget information isn’t available online in easily searchable databases, but it should be. Citizens shouldn’t have to make special requests to obtain budget information.
  • Research Report

    Bond, School Bonds: School Bonds Will Leave Taxpayers Shaken Down, Not Stirred

    posted October 25, 2007 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Daren Bakst
    Elected officials in Durham, Gaston, Macon, Mecklenburg, and Moore counties are asking voters to approve school construction bonds that will increase an already high tax burden on low and middle income homeowners in these counties. Local governments have failed to implement the full range of school facilities alternatives and strategies that could accommodate enrollment growth without imposing additional taxes and long-term debt on taxpayers.
  • Research Report

    No, Fix the Roads First: How N.C. has taken transportation out of transportation policy

    posted October 17, 2007 by Daren Bakst
    The Minneapolis I-35 bridge disaster and the poor condition of North Carolina’s bridges should be a wake-up call for policymakers to set sensible priorities for transportation policy. N.C. has 17,782 bridges, of which 5,082 (29 percent) are deemed deficient by the federal government. N.C. ranks 32nd in the nation in percentage of deficient bridges — 10th worst in total number of deficient bridges.
  • Research Report

    Pender County doesn’t need a land-transfer tax increase

    posted September 26, 2007 by Dr. Terry Stoops, Joseph Coletti, Dr. Michael Sanera
    The Pender County commissioners are asking voters to approve a 200 percent increase in the real estate transfer tax on November 6. But the county has about $23.3 million over and above its base budget to meet its needs.
  • Research Report

    Better Instruction, Not More Time: A longer school day and year will be North Carolina’s next education fad

    posted July 31, 2007 by Dr. Terry Stoops
    There is no consistent relationship between in-school instructional time in mathematics and a nation’s average score on an international mathematics test. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University concluded that there was no statistically significant correlation between instructional time in math, science, reading, and civics and test scores on international assessments of those subjects.
  • Research Report

    Traffic Congestion in North Carolina: Status, Prospects, & Solutions

    posted March 18, 2007 by Dr. David Hartgen
    Traffic congestion is defined as the delay in urban travel caused by the presence of other vehicles. This study reviews traffic congestion in each of North Carolina's 17 metropolitan regions. The study determines the magnitude of present and future traffic congestion; the extent to which present plans will relieve or merely slow the growth of congestion; how traffic congestion affects the state's economy; and actions for significantly reducing congestion in the future.

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