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Your Voice, Your Vote: Taxes, Lotteries & Balancing the Budget

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RALEIGH — Thecost and size of our state governmenthas a direct impact on your tax bill. Where do the two leading candidates for governor weigh in on the issue?

The Democratic and Republican candidates for governor want to lower taxes.

Democratic candidate Mike Easley proposes increasing the personal deduction and eliminating the marriage penalty.

"We are not helping those average working families as much as we are those at the top," he says.

Republican candidate Richard Vinroot is less specific.

"I don't know whether we need to have more exemptions or less. I know our rates are too high," he says.

Vinroot is more specific on how we can balance the state budget with less tax money. He wants to curb state spending by tying future budget increases to the rate of inflation and population growth.

"Over the last 10 years, we've just been spending it as fast as we can, because we've had it to spend. And we haven't," says Vinroot. "As you've heard me earlier say, we haven't gotten, I think, a good return on our investment. Our roads have gone down, our education system is stagnant, our courts are under-funded."

In fact, 59 percent of likely voters responding to aYour Voice, Your Votepoll support a law that would limit the state budget's annual growth.

Mike Easley says it is not that simple.

"I don't think gimmicks like that work simply, because the numbers won't work based simply on population," he says.

Where do the candidates stand on other ways for the state to raise money?

Both Easley and Vinroot want to proceed slowly on taxing Internet sales.

Both candidates propose a public referendum on a state lottery. Easley supports a lottery; Vinroot opposes it.

For more information on this issue, check out Thursday'sNews and Observer, WRAL's partner in Your Voice, Your Vote.


Len Besthoff, Reporter
Joe Frieda, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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