mccrory_budgetRALEIGH—Gov. Pat McCrory said North Carolina will have a revenue surplus of $400 million this fiscal year, and he already has ideas on how to use it.

He announced the surge in tax collections Wednesday at an event held by the NC Association of County Commissioners in Raleigh.

This is news that we were looking for. I was ready for the opposite news, but instead to get this news is very good for our growing economy,” said Gov. McCrory.

Gov. McCrory and his fellow Republican leaders are in part crediting the good economic report on tax reform they put in place in 2013. It is a move they have been criticized for by some opponents. They said ultimately it has helped the state’s economy get back on track.

“I’ve been more strategic for the long term, taking the short-term hits from critics  and others who wanted to keep the status quo policies that were not working for North Carolina,” said Gov. McCrory.

But state Democratic leaders were quick to respond. Minutes after the announcement, some Tweeted their concerns with the burden this surplus is putting on the middle class—later saying it is not surprising that the state has more money than before.

“What these revenues that were reported today show is that you did collect more money because you taxing people at a much higher level than you historically have taxed them,” said Sen. Dan Blue, a Wake County Democrat.

The state budget director, Lee Roberts, said these criticisms are unwarranted.

“It seems to me that a little while ago I was answering questions about we had cut taxes too much—now they are saying we didn’t cut taxes enough,” said Roberts.

Main Street Democrats, a group of centrist, pro-business Democrats, say they share concerns about the burdens and are not convinced that this surplus can do much to benefit the state.

“Supporting education, teacher raises would be a good place to put this money. State employees haven’t had any significant raises in a while. There are 100 places where we could put that money to work, but its not going to go very far,” said Rep. Ken Goodman, a Richmond County Democrat.

Gov. McCrory said he would like to see the money go toward building up reserve for the state, as well as reinstate the medical expense tax deductions for seniors and to give targeted salary increases to state employees.

The revenue numbers were important for legislators, who are currently working to write the next state spending plan. House members are hoping to use these projections to have their budget proposal ready within the next two weeks.

-Loretta Boniti