Local Politics

State budget again facing bumpy road

Posted March 11, 2010

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— State lawmakers won't convene for their 2010 session until May, but the state budget is already looming over the General Assembly like gathering storm clouds.

Although lawmakers cut programs and raised taxes last summer to erase a $4.5 billion deficit, budget analysts have forecast a shortfall of about $500 million in the 2009-10 fiscal year because of lagging income tax and sales tax revenue.

Money N.C. could face $1B deficit in coming year

Much of that gap can be filled by money Gov. Beverly Perdue ordered held back from state agencies last August in anticipation of a continued weak economy. Perdue kept up to 5 percent of the money approved in the budget for most agencies in a reserve account.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman David Hoyle said the budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year is of greater concern for lawmakers. Early projections place the shortfall for the fiscal year that starts July 1 at $700 million to $1 billion.

"We're looking very closely at our projected revenues," said Hoyle, D-Gaston. "We've got some real challenges coming. There's going to have to be some cuts made because I don't think we're going to raise any more taxes."

Last year, lawmakers raised almost $1 billion in new revenue through a sales tax increase and higher taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.

Hoyle said no one wants to raise taxes again with elections scheduled for November.

"We've got a mess," he said. "You're going to have to cut everything. You're going to have to cut education. You're going to have to cut across the board. You're going to have to cut health and human services."

Hoyle said his only consolation is that he isn't seeking re-election in the fall.

"I don't envy any of my colleagues – Republicans if they gain any seats or Democrats if they maintain control," he said.

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  • ratherbnnc Mar 12, 2010

    I still say if the state would enforce immigration laws and deny medical, welfare, education, and the right to work to those who are not here legally our budget would get better sooner.
    whatusay

    Immigration Enforcement is the responsibility of the Federal Govt, not the State.

  • SS67 Mar 12, 2010

    Yeah, lets cut education and more at 4 so we can build more prisons later.

  • colliedave Mar 12, 2010

    We've got a mess," he said. "You're going to have to cut everything. You're going to have to cut education. You're going to have to cut across the board. You're going to have to cut health and human services."

    The first thing that needs to be done is to remove the fat from all programs. The second is to prioritize the programs according to critical need. Programs that deal with culture and entertainment need to be the first to hit the chopping block.

  • whatusay Mar 12, 2010

    I still say if the state would enforce immigration laws and deny medical, welfare, education, and the right to work to those who are not here legally our budget would get better sooner.

  • chfdcpt Mar 12, 2010

    "Raise the state worker retirement age to 67. Same as every one else. Tha'ts one of the problems in Mexifornia. Fat pensions and early retirement for the hoards of state workers.
    aspenstreet1717"

    Aspen, 6% of my check is taken for the retirement pension. I have to work for 30 years so that I can retire with full retirement benefits, which means I only get 50% of my ending salary and no medical. And I also have to pay NC income tax on my retirement. Also, when I start drawing SSN, if it still there, the state cuts my retirement pension some more.

    So, where is that fat cat state pension that you are talking about?

  • ratherbnnc Mar 12, 2010

    "Wow, three sentances, 2 out right lies. Also ya'll ever noticed that no politician EVER talks about cutting waste, fraud, and abuse when discussing budgets? It is always, Education, Social Services, and Human Services." 1carpe

    Get real! Seems you love to hear yourself talk!! Thats what cost you the most money in government!!

  • hardwork919 Mar 12, 2010

    "Wow, three sentances, 2 out right lies. Also ya'll ever noticed that no politician EVER talks about cutting waste, fraud, and abuse when discussing budgets? It is always, Education, Social Services, and Human Services." 1carpe

    Because that would require work and the reduction of their government friends and they can't have that, my good man! It's much better to cut funding for things that actually help people.

  • ratherbnnc Mar 12, 2010

    We can always make business pay more taxes!!

  • Finz Up Mar 12, 2010

    We could always cut some of our State employees that waste taxpayer dollars playing on the internet......

  • 1carpe Mar 12, 2010

    "We've got some real challenges coming. There's going to have to be some cuts made because I don't think we're going to raise any more taxes."
    Wow, three sentances, 2 out right lies. Also ya'll ever noticed that no politician EVER talks about cutting waste, fraud, and abuse when discussing budgets? It is always, Education, Social Services, and Human Services.

    balog your point is well taken except for one minor point: the California GOP (like Bush) are mostly RINO's (Republican in Name Only)....they (mostly) are not Conservatives.

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