It has been 28 days since the deadline to pass a budget and North Carolina lawmakers remain unable to reach an agreement. In light of an aproximate $4 billion deficit, the Democrat controlled House, Senate, and Governor’s mansion have been at odds over which taxes to raise.
The conference committee was nearing a budget agreement last week that would raise income, tobacco, and alcohol taxes. However Gov. Perdue effectively blew up negotiations when she announced her opposition to an income tax.
Gov. Perdue’s budget proposal includes alcohol and tobacco tax increases but she favors a temporary hike in the sales tax over an income tax increase. Perdue cited her concern for the middle class and working families as the reason for her opposition to an across the board income tax increase. What Perdue fails to explain is how she reconciles this concern with her sales tax proposal.
According to a recent poll by the Civitas Institute, not only do most North Carolina voters oppose a temporary sales tax, they don’t trust Perdue’s assertion that the sales tax would be temporary. 66% of those polled oppose Perdue’s 1 point, 14% sales tax hike and 77% of those polled believe the sales tax increase would become permanent.
The latest reports from those on the ground in Raleigh allege that a continuing resolution will likely be passed today and all lawmakers except for conference committee members will be sent home. Stay tuned for further developments.
To view the letter that ATR recently sent to all North Carolina legislators, Click Here.