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An annual report says North Carolina government would still have more room to borrow even if voters approve a bond package in March and retain its top credit-rating agency grades

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RALEIGH, North Carolina — North Carolina government's annual debt burden review finds there would still be more room to borrow even if voters approve a $2 billion bond package in March and the state could retain its top credit-rating agency grades.

The state's Debt Affordability Study released Wednesday projects another $209 million in borrowing capacity annually through mid-2020 while remaining in self-imposed fiscal limits. For transportation debt backed by gasoline and car-sales taxes and other fees, there's additional capacity of $240 million annually.

The study would seem to help pro-bond supporters approaching the March 15 referendum. Most of the proposed debt would go to higher education projects, among other items. Gov. Pat McCrory has said he'd pitch debt for road projects if re-elected.

A committee led by State Treasurer Janet Cowell wrote the report.

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