About CONNECT NC

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Connect NC?

Connect NC is a $2 billion bond that provides funding for statewide investments in education (both universities and community colleges), agriculture, parks, safety and water and sewer infrastructure. The goal of the bond is to connect the state’s public facilities to the 21st century, enhance the state’s economic development efforts, and attract new and assist existing industry, business, technology and tourism, according to North Carolina General Assembly House Bill 943.

Why use bonds to build state infrastructure?

The bond allows the state to pay over 20 to 25 years for assets that will last 50 years or more, and to do so at historically low rates, according to the Office of State Budget Management and the Connect NC website. North Carolina has been rated AAA since state ratings began in the 1960s, and will continue to be rated AAA with this bond issue. 

Will Connect NC require a tax increase?

No tax increases are necessary to finance the bond. The state has ample credit capacity to borrow and repay the bonds with no tax increase. Because the state is paying off its existing debt rapidly, overall debt levels will not increase with this new bond, according to the Office of State Budget Management and the Connect NC website.

How does the bond benefit higher education in North Carolina?

The North Carolina General Assembly found that the University of North Carolina and the North Carolina Community College systems are in need of new and renovated facilities to educate and prepare students, to conduct research, and to recruit, retain and prepare researchers and faculty for the 21st century, according to North Carolina General Assembly House Bill 943. If the bond is approved, the UNC system will receive $980 million and the state’s 58 community colleges will share $350 million to address those issues.   

What is in the bond specifically for the University of North Carolina Wilmington?

The bond provides $66 million to construct UNCW’s Allied Health/Human Sciences Building. This 165,000 square-foot facility would house the College of Health and Human Services, including existing academic programs in health and applied human sciences, nursing, clinical research and social work.  

Why doesn’t the university simply expand the current College of Health and Human Services buildings?

Enrollment in UNCW’s College of Health and Human Services enrollment has grown 135 percent since its establishment in 2010. The proposed building would accommodate the fast-growing student enrollment and provide much-needed academic support space that is critical to the college’s mission. It would also allow the college to expand online and extension programs and would include a space for the university’s growing student veteran population. Additionally, the Allied Health/Human Sciences building is a part of the health programs strategic plan, which calls for the co-location of health-related programs in an academic quad. The construction of the proposed building would complete the UNCW Health Sciences Quad. These facilities are critical to the university’s ability to produce more health care professionals and to create stronger partnerships with health providers to serve North Carolina.

What impact will this project have on southeastern North Carolina?

North Carolina’s population has grown by two million people since 2000, when the last bond was issued -- the equivalent of adding Nebraska or West Virginia – and continued growth is expected. Statewide, the demand for allied health education programs has been trending upward. To meet the health and human service needs of the region and the state, UNCW’s academic programing must expand. The proposed facility would allow UNCW to address critical healthcare workforce needs through high-demand degree programs; to enhance its educational and research resources; to partner with other entities and to apply the university’s intellectual capital to address issues of concern to the region it serves.

What other benefits will southeastern North Carolina see as a result of the bond?

Overall, the Connect NC bond would invest $116 million in the southeast region, funding projects for nine community colleges, five state parks and UNC Wilmington. 

When can I vote on the bond referendum?

The referendum is scheduled for March 15 during the state primary.

How can I find additional information about the bond referendum and its local and statewide impact?

To learn more, visit connectnc.gov.