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Gov. Mike Easley began his term under a difficult budget crisis, and as the new projections arrive, things continue to get worse. I would like to commend the governor for his handling of the budget crisis thus far. It did not take us long to see that increasing revenue by 2 percent while trying to increase spending by 8 percent does not work.
Some leaders are looking for someone to blame. Now is not the time to look for fault - let's just solve the problem and take the necessary steps to insure this will not happen again.
According to North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry, "North Carolina is collecting a record amount of tax revenue - most months it takes in more than $ 1 billion. So why is the state facing its worst budget crisis in a decade? State tax revenues are higher than they've ever been; through six months of the current fiscal year collections are 2 percent ahead of even last year's blistering pace. Trouble is, state spending also is increasing at a breathtaking rate. The budget adopted last July approved an
8 percent increase in state spending." Yet, while it might have been easier for Easley to try to justify raising taxes, something hidden like the gasoline tax, he has not done this.
On behalf of the 14,000 grass-roots members of North Carolina Citizens for a Sound Economy, we believe we should not raise taxes for hard-working families. Surely our legislative leaders such as Sen. Marc Basnight and Speaker Jim Black will work with Easley to search for ways to reduce wasteful spending and avoid new taxes and fees.
Vice President for Public Affairs
Citizens for a Sound Economy