In November of 1998, the attorney generals of 46 states signed an agreement with four of the nation’s largest cigarette manufacturers. This settlement is referred to as the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA). The MSA commits these tobacco manufacturers to pay approximately $206 billion to the 46 states over the first 25 years of the agreement. Of that, North Carolina’s share is estimated to be approximately $4.6 billion after 25 years.
The NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission (NCTTFC) is one of two programs still in existence that were created by the NC General Assembly in 2000 to distribute the State’s Phase I funds. The Golden LEAF Foundation, a non-profit corporation, received 50% of the Phase I funds up until 2013. The Foundation makes grants for economic development in tobacco dependent communities.
Beginning in 2012, the NC General Assembly budget allowed for appropriated funds for grant programs and administrative costs overseen by the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. Prior to this change, the NCTTFC received a share of the annual MSA payment.
The Tobacco Trust Fund Commission is governed by the North Carolina Administrative Code (NCAC).
Since 2001, the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission has awarded grants to more than 375 projects
The Tobacco Trust Fund Commission
The NCTTFC was created to assist current/former tobacco farmers, former quota holders, persons engaged in tobacco-related businesses, individuals displaced from tobacco-related employment, and tobacco product component businesses in NC that have been affected by the adverse effects of the MSA. The NCTTFC can disburse funds through compensatory programs and qualified agricultural programs.
The Governor, Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tem of the Senate appoint our eighteen board members. Our board meets quarterly and as needed to carry out NCTTFC business.
The NCTTFC is managed financially by the State Treasurer, and we are administratively housed in the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The NCTTFC is independent, with all grant and policy decisions authorized by our board. The Commission reports annually to the NC Legislative Commission on Governmental Operations regarding its programs.
Bill Teague, Chairman
Susan Barnes, Vice-Chairman
Dr. Bill Collins
Dr. Frankie Jones