Local Politics

Layoffs threaten state revenue department

Posted November 14, 2008

State budget
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— State Department of Revenue officials say they will continue looking at ways to trim their budget without layoffs – for now.

Friday was a tense day for hundreds of employees who wondered about the fate or their jobs as revenue officials looked at whether to cut contracted temporary jobs.

A legislative budget analyst said last week that the state's deficit would likely be $800 million and $1.6 billion during the current fiscal year.

Gov. Easley has already ordered state agencies to looking for ways to cut their budgets by 5 percent – including keeping vacant positions open, limiting travel, cutting back on educational training and reducing supply purchases.

But the revenue department appears to be the first to seriously consider layoffs.

"Obviously, we're concerned," said Dana Cope, executive director of the State Employees Association.

Cope said state leaders need to improve efficiency, seek more federal help and, possibly, taxes to meet the budget gap.

"When we talk about cuts in personnel, we don't see how we're going to be able to do that and continue to provide the quality of services that taxpayers need in North Carolina," Cope said.

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  • commonsensical Nov 14, 2008

    Interesting that they can lay people off and still get the job done. Why were they hired in the first place if the department can run without them? Oh, wait. If they didn't have contracted employees, then the real state employees would actually have to do some work.

  • mproctor2 Nov 14, 2008

    The most controllable expense in any industry is labor cost. Why doesnt the govt. get this concept?

  • whatelseisnew Nov 14, 2008

    The people working for the state that are in the decision making roles just do not get it do they. They need to start at the top and start cutting personnel. Then they need to cut the salaries of everyone making 50K or more. Do a graduated cut just like that lovely progressive tax code the politicians so love. The more you earn the higher the percentage of the pay cut you will take. They have no idea of the massive train wreck that is coming do they?

  • discowhale Nov 14, 2008

    Yeah, the Rev Dept is a real pip alright.

    It took me 3 years to get them to look at their own records of my 2004 tax forms. Then after the say I still owed them $2100, they garnished my wife's check for 5 months, and then returned the money.

    "...an audit of our records shows that you overpaid for 2004..."

    No duh!!

    Fair Tax Plan, Flat Tax Plan anyone?

  • anonemoose Nov 14, 2008

    IOW, we won't be able to send all those letters telling us that we didn't file our taxes 6 moths after we got the last letter and sent them copies including the overpayment check stub. I finally started sending them copies every 4 months, then they started on another year. I took copies of the last 6 years down and got a letter saying all taxes had been paid,, and I fax that everytime I get that letter.