Local News

State's Budget Picture Starts To Look Brighter

Posted January 5, 2004

— The state's budget picture is looking brighter.

Gov. Mike Easley told business leaders Monday that the state is attracting more jobs than it is losing. Easley's announcement comes as lawmakers received word that tax revenue is higher than expected.

From September to November, total revenue collections went from $41 million below target to $7 million above.

"Every economic projection that I have seen, and I read a lot of them, have all projected a really robust year for this next year, so I think we're starting to see signs of that," State Treasurer Richard Moore said.

Easley has also ordered raises in January for some of the lowest-paid state employees, and he said he will push for raises for everyone else in next year's budget, as long as the revenue keeps coming in.

Easley said he will have a better view of the state's economic picture later in January. He wants to look at December's numbers, which should be released Tuesday as well as January's estimated income tax payments which are due on Jan. 15.

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