NCPI Workmark
Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.

Tax for Necessary Expense Takes No Vote, But What is Necessary?

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For two hundred years of North Carolina's history there was no constitutional limitation on the power of local governmental units to incur debt or levy taxes. In 1868 the Constitution provided that no county, city, town, or municipal corporation could contract debt for unnecessary expenses. From 1868 to 1940 these local units of government have been asking the Supreme Court of North Carolina to tell them what is a necessary expense for which they may incur debt and levy taxes without a vote of the people.