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Press Release

North Carolina CSE Story 2001


North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy (NC CSE) was launched in April of 1999 with the message, "There’s a better way." Today, with your involvement, we have over 25,000 members and supporters. As you know, NC CSE is committed to lower taxes, less government, and more economic freedom; we strive daily to recruit, educate, and mobilize a powerful grassroots army to fight for our goals and our liberty. Since our inception, our determination, dedication, and motivation have defined our style of grassroots activism and contributed to our successes.

Hundreds of NC CSE activists gathered in Raleigh for the second annual North Carolina CSE Day at the Capitol

We are devoted to helping you protect more of what you own and earn, and, to that end, we have spent countless hours recruiting, educating, and mobilizing citizen activists to fight against another state tax increase. We started our anti-tax campaign by educating activists at CSE club and town hall meetings across the state. We displayed our grassroots power when we stormed the Capitol on June 5th. It was our second annual NC CSE Day at the Capitol where more than 500 activists declared to their legislators, "We Want Less" – less taxes, less government, and less regulation. They traveled from across the state to address the budget shortfall. Activists devoted the day to personally meet with their legislators and confirm their commitment to CSE’s anti-tax Pledge.

During months of budget debate in the General Assembly, NC CSE hosted an anti-tax rally, now known statewide as the "Tarheel Tea Party." Over one thousand citizens showed up on the Halifax Mall to protest the proposed $1.2 billion dollar tax increase before the General Assembly. Radio stations WPTF-Raleigh, WBT-Charlotte, and WSJS-Winston-Salem hosted their shows live from the rally, talking with citizens and legislators about the tax increase. Referring to "The Pledge" (the NC CSE Pledge), which was signed by 62 of 120 General Assembly members, citizens reminded the legislators of the promise they made to the people and implored them not to burden North Carolina families with another tax increase.

Even the Raleigh News and Observer was quick to notice the power of our No New Taxes Pledge

The anti-tax campaign didn’t stop with the tax rally. NC CSE continued to turn up the heat on legislators by appearing on talk radio and local television shows, urging citizens to call and write their legislators. Thanks to this effort, many legislators felt the heat and NC CSE made it known that the hard-working citizens of North Carolina would not stand for any tax increases. Unfortunately, on September 20, 2001, the General Assembly passed a $1.2 billion tax increase. NC CSE Director, Jonathan Hill aptly labeled this passage as “the wrong action at the wrong time.” Ten legislators broke their promise to the people of North Carolina by breaking "The Pledge." The 2002 election is just around the corner and NC CSE and its 25,000-member grassroots army will not let the voters or the legislators forget who broke their pledge.

Taking a Gamble with North Carolina’s Economic Future
North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation hosted a lottery summit, "Windfall or Predator," on March 17th to educate citizens on the social and economic impact a lottery would have on our state. Several hundred citizens attended to hear debate on both sides of the issue. NC CSE believes that a lottery is simply an expansion of government. Contrary to popular myths, lotteries are not stable sources of revenue, there is no link between lotteries and school funding, and a lottery is not likely to reduce political pressures to raise taxes. The lottery would also damage retailers because storeowners would lose money trying to replace high-profit, taxable items with a non-taxable lottery ticket. Currently, the lottery issue is at a standstill in committee, but NC CSE will continue to fight against this fiscally unsound public policy.

Protecting Our Property Rights in NC –
The River Buffer Issue

The affected river buffer area –
The Catawba River Basin

The latest NC CSE topic sweeping the state is river buffers. In just one month, thousands of citizens signed our No Buffer Petition! NC CSE ignited a full-fledged grassroots campaign across the state to repeal temporary and permanent buffer rules established by the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) under HB 1160, The Clean Water Act of 1999. These rules clearly infringe upon citizens’ property rights and damage North Carolina’s economy. NC CSE is leading the fight to repeal these proposed buffer rules.