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Fees and regulations are making it too difficult for businesses in North Carolina. The state has one of the highest gas taxes in the nation, and it ranks too low for kindergarten through 12th-grade education.
That’s was the message from Dan Forest, R-
Raleigh, who is running for N.C. lieutenant governor. “That’s not acceptable for our great state,” Forest said.
Forest shared his thoughts about the future of North Carolina recently during the Meet the Candidates Night forum sponsored by the Brunswick County Alliance of Property Owners Association.
Linda Coleman, D-Knightdale, did not attend, nor did she respond to a request to complete a candidate profile for the Beacon.
Forest talked about issues facing North Carolina, such as the proposed 30 percent homeowners’ insurance rate increase that has been opposed by many Brunswick County residents. He said he believes there should be more equity across the state in setting rates and added the move to require public hearings about the proposals is a good start for reform.
When asked if he would support more education funding, Forest said it would depend on how the money was being spent.
“We need to have accountability in that investment,” he said, going on to call for an “education revolution” in North Carolina, saying the state needs more transparency, more choices and more innovation.
“Choice creates competition, competition creates innovation,” he said in his candidate profile. “We rank 41st in K-12 educational performance in the U.S.—this is unacceptable. Our college-bound students too often require remedial classes. We need to inspire and support our teachers who innovate and take risks.”
Responding to questions from forum moderator Jon Evans, WECT anchor, Forest indicated he was in favor of voter identification. He also spoke about the state’s transportation system, saying while campaigning he has traveled more than 200,000 miles on North Carolina Roads.
“We have a very good road system in North Carolina,” he said.
As for federal beach renourishment, an issue that’s particularly important to many who live on the coast, Forest said North Carolina’s beaches are tourism and national security issues. He went on to point out challenges created with federal funding.
“The federal government is broke,” he said. “That’s the unfortunate part of this.”
Funding for such projects and government spending needs a closer look, Forest pointed out.
“Our state has over $30 billion in obligations that it keeps off the books and does not have the money to pay,” he said in his candidate profile for the Beacon. “I believe in making the budget and debt process completely transparent so the public knows what the future holds if we don't quickly get our financial house in order.”
He says he believes lowering taxes on businesses could help encourage economic growth and job creation.
“My background is in business, not politics, and I believe my executive-level business experience and track record of job creation uniquely qualifies me to confront the economic challenges facing our state,” he said. “Unfunded mandates, excessive regulations and high taxes are killing job creation in North Carolina. Let’s not send another bureaucrat to Raleigh to do a businessman’s job.”