NC state budget postponed

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Posted by Theresa Swenson - email

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Lawmakers in Raleigh avoided a budget deadline Wednesday by passing a resolution that buys more time to make some tough decisions.

The North Carolina House and Senate now have two more weeks to iron out a state budget.

The general assembly cannot seem to agree on how to make the budget work; some want to raise taxes while others want to cut more programs.   However, their most significant hurdle is tax increases.

Senator R.C. Soles supports a Senate plan that would generate more money by expanding the number of people who pay income tax, including low-income workers who have not paid in the past.

"The House would like to raise the sales tax as I understand it and a few other taxes, and the Senate is doing its best not to raise taxes," said Sole.

Meanwhile, Governor Beverly Perdue has favored tax increases, such as the one percent sales tax hike. After signing Wednesday's budget continuation she released this statement:

"The General Assembly must continue working aggressively to pass a balanced budget that protects education and core health and public safety services."

State Republicans feel left out of the budget process and many say they are disappointed that the Democratic majority is trying to spend instead of save.

"Every family is having to tighten their belt, so we feel that the government should be tightening their belt and they apparently are just trying to get more money in the form of new taxes," said Representative Frank Iler.

State offices now have to operate on just 84 percent of last year's budget until both parties reach an agreement.

Lawmakers say this should be the last continuing budget resolution.   Both Soles and Iler say they expect a final budget vote by the end of next week.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.