House Speaker Thom Tillis said today he supports a proposal by House budget-writers to raise more than $103 million dollars in fees, replacing state funding for items from drivers’ education to the court system.
Tillis said freeing up the money the state would have spent on those items will help pay for a tax-cut package he expects to see next week. He says the tax cuts, totaling about $250 million, will be aimed at small businesses and corporations, and will help create jobs.
Democrats criticized several of the new fees, saying they’ll disproportionately affect low-income citizens. But Tillis said it’s appropriate for fees to cover services provided.
“If you don’t file a lawsuit, if you don’t use the court service, then you won’t get charged that fee. And if you do, you should,” Tillis said.
Tillis said he’d only been in court in North Carolina once in his life, and had paid his court fees for it. “There are people who go to court regularly,” he said. “And those folks, to the extent that they have to use it to do their business or defend themselves, I think probably ought to view that as a cost of doing business, and not assume that or any other taxpayer should subsidize it.” Tillis on fees and taxes
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