The pot of money North Carolina uses to pay for most of its programs grew about 20 percent this year. That's according to the state's annual financial report, which came out Tuesday.
The pot of money we're talking about is called the general fund, and it's the key part of the state's annual financial checkup. Clayton Murphy helps put that checkup together.
"The state's general fund is where we recognize most of the tax revenues of the state, and the general fund finances most of your basic programs of the state," he said. Those programs include education, Medicaid and public safety.
Murphy said the general fund is also the main thing credit rating agencies look at to determine if a state is in good financial shape.
For the 2013 fiscal year that ended June 30, North Carolina remained one of only nine states to get the top rating from all three agencies. Its general fund increased 22 percent to about $1.3 billion.
"It shows that the economy is slowly improving," Murphy said. "Our two largest revenue sources – individual and corporate income taxes – were higher during the fiscal year."
Individual income taxes grew 6 percent, which is more than the state expected. That's a good sign, as more people are getting jobs and paying taxes.
However, the state's unemployment rate remains one of the highest in the country.