State News

N.C. tax collections lagging by $70 million

Posted June 26, 2008 2:01 p.m. EDT
Updated June 26, 2008 9:30 p.m. EDT

State budget

— Gov. Mike Easley's administration is warning legislative leaders there's going to be less tax money than previously believed to spend for next year.

Easley's office told lawmakers in a letter Thursday that state government likely will have collected $70 million less than projected when the fiscal year ends next week.

Easley budget adviser Dan Gerlach attributes the decline to lower-than-expected sales and income taxes.

“The national economy has gotten significantly worse, and, although North Carolina is only experiencing some of that weakness, it will make it more difficult for legislators to balance the budget this year,” Easley said in a news release. “We are working together in a spirit of cooperation.”

Budget negotiators might have to find additional spending reductions or take money out of savings to make up the difference.

Rep. Jim Crawford, D-Granville, one of the House's negotiators, downplayed the news Thursday. He said the dollar figure is a small percentage of a budget that will exceed $21 billion.