Local Politics

House budget would cut $3 billion but have no tax increases

Posted May 18, 2009

State budget

— Leaders in the state House said Monday that unlike the governor's and Senate's proposed budgets, its spending plan for the 2009-2010 fiscal year would be without any tax increases.

The House’s $17.5 billion budget proposal is $3.3 billion less than the 2009-10 fiscal year's original spending plan of $20.8 billion and nearly $2 billion less than Gov. Bev Perdue's revised budget of $19.4 billion.

House budget calls for no tax increases

Although specific details are still being worked out, $1.6 billion in cuts would be in education, said Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee. Health and human services would also see about $1.4 billion less.

Michaux said House budget writers are trying to avoid pay cuts and furloughs but that there will be job cuts because of programs and services being cut.

Perdue's originally proposed a $21 billion budget, and then made revisions based on the struggling economy. She included a hike in cigarette and alcohol taxes. The Senate's nearly $21 billion budget would tax more goods and services at a lower tax rate, for an additional $500 million in revenue.

"Just cutting everything out, I don't know how you do that," Sen. A. B. Swindell, D-Nash, said. "We cannot let our education system suffer from a situation this critical."

House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, though, said in the current economic environment, now is not the right time to raise taxes. The House's proposed budget, he said, is still more than the budget was five years ago.

"Things weren't so bad," he said. "We were able to furnish essential state services. The sky didn't fall."

Michaux said he hopes the same can be said this time around.

"These are going to be some trying times," he said. "We've never been in this position before."

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  • oldfirehorse May 19, 2009

    Nonewsisgoodnews~ Thanks, that is a refreshingly direct answer and I fear very accurate. Well put!

  • Nonewsisgoodnews May 19, 2009

    "Could someone explain what your perception is with regard to why we, collectively, would tolerate massive cuts in essential state services, and leave non-essential services operating? I really don't get it? -oldfirehorse"

    Because its not direct enough for them. Numbers and figures don't bring up faces and their personal lives into mind like those two stories. We can picture Mary Easley. We don't like her and know a lot of sleazy stuff about her. Everybody knows a smoker and has an opinion. We can't picture the face of the school teacher who is a single mom with two children living off of $35,000 a year and all the good deeds she does in and out of the classroom or that same women in the hospital who will now die unnoticed nearly as easily when they hear only "3 billion dollars out of an unknown amount will be cut from education and public health services".

  • oldfirehorse May 19, 2009

    I'm finding these blogs disturbing. The one on the smoking ban in restaurants and bars has 351 posts. The one on Mary Easley's job has 268. This one, in contrast, has 35. If these are remotely accurate as a cross section of where most folks attention is, well, I just don't know where we're headed. Could someone explain what your perception is with regard to why we, collectively, would tolerate massive cuts in essential state services, and leave non-essential services operating? I really don't get it?

  • Nonewsisgoodnews May 19, 2009

    @cameragirl:

    We aren't talking about pay cuts. Teachers have already lost their jobs in the triple digits, school supplies not only not provided, but taken away and now its going to get much worse. How about everyone with jobs suck it up and contribute instead of saying teachers should get the blunt end of the stick because they are so well off when the majority of people with that education make much more, raises or not. Many of you are biting at the bit to push others into a fiery pit out of spite when the majority of them did NOTHING to deserve this and the best reason you can come up with is "I hope my taxes don't get raised". A lot of these newer teachers that the kids relate to and like are going to lose their jobs, you know, the ones that are willing to put the effort forth to become great teachers. Hopefully they will seek out another opportunity, for the children's sake.

  • Nonewsisgoodnews May 19, 2009

    "Sadly if/when the cuts come they won't start at the top and work there way down like they should. -eternalrage83"

    They started at the bottom already with the terminating contracts, classroom supplies, pay cuts, and furloughs. As the number of poor increases, the services given will decrease.

    You elect people who now have control, money, wants, and the knowledge that it is very unlikely they will get caught and even less likely they'll receive punishment. Its a very fostering environment for corruption. They don't see (or look for) who they will hurt, sometimes you are seen as insignificant. They will also be asked to fix something that they have no personal experience in. They will hurt people that they and the average person don't encounter because no one will hear them scream. That sacrifice quiets the majority for a while. The gap between the wealth and poor increases until finally the large majority suffer enough, make a flight or fight response, and then the cycle can repeat.

  • cameragirl May 19, 2009

    The teachers as well as all other State Workers will just have to suck it up. I am a State Employee of 18 years. I don't like having a pay cut any more than the rest of you, however, I'm just glad to have a job. There should be no difference in teachers and other state workers. We should ALL do our part. I don't agree with taking Longevity away but I would not hesitate to have an across the board of ALL state employees pay cut. That is the fairest way of doing things.

    The teachers cry poor poor me but in the past they have gotten more of a raise than the rest of us. Why shouldn't they feel the pinch too? I have a teaching degree but decided that I didn't want to devote what it took to be a GREAT teacher so I am using my degree in another capacity. If a teacher wants more pay then go to another state.

  • beachboater May 19, 2009

    "Beachboater: sorry your world is so small." SS67

    Please explain SS67. I really want to know what I'm missing in my small world.

  • saltnsanddefenderofdamiddleclass May 19, 2009

    (continued) be raised to 10%. fees should be increased, and we should hurry up and build that train. the train would be supported by increasing the restaurant tax to 15%. it's time to make those that voted for hope happy!

  • saltnsanddefenderofdamiddleclass May 19, 2009

    we are a blue state now. it's time to act like one....raise income taxes to at least 10%, we need all major highways turned into toll roads, property taxes should double and if you own anything appraised higher than 150k then they should be surtaxed an additional 50%. sales tax should

  • squawk08 May 19, 2009

    While education is being cut, we still have to meet the standards set forth by the State of NC and No Child Left Behind, of course this is how our politicians think, cut programs but not relax standards to compensate. I work for a school district, last year we could only give teachers 50 dollars for supplies for the entire year. We were already operating on a budget that has not changed the past 7 years, but our student enrollment has grown by 30%.

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