Here comes the tax man! Again. Legislators in North Carolina are well past their original July 1st budget deadline and more of your freedoms are up on the chopping block. For government reformers, a new budget sounds like a great idea as North Carolina faces a $4.6 billion deficit. However, rather than cutting waste out of the budget, Governor Beverly Perdue’s plan calls for an additional $1.5 billion in spending for education, even as state revenues fall. How does she and legislative leaders plan to make up this huge difference? With a big package of new taxes and fees applied inconsistently across the economy, picking and choosing economic winners and losers. The House and Senate are considering different plans, but here are a few of the suggestions on the table that will hurt North Carolina families and businesses. * A so-called “Google” sales tax on internet purchases like digital books and music that will stifle commerce and presents obvious constitutional questions. * A $1-per-pack tax hike on cigarettes that comes on top of a recent federal hike and will push smokers to purchase cigarettes on the black market and hurt small businesses like convenience stores. * An alcohol tax that will slam an already suffering hospitality industry. * Taxes on lawn care and car repairs. * A sales tax hike. * An income tax hike for certain tax brackets. These taxes present a severe burden for families who are already suffering in this economic downturn and who face higher taxes and fees not only at the state level, but at the federal and county levels, too. They strike a blow directly at the heart of many businesses – some that are struggling to stay afloat, and some that have become the lynch-pin of communities and families that need their income and services. The last thing that North Carolinians can afford is higher taxes. Take Action and call your state representative at 919-733-7928. It’s essential that they hear from you and understand higher taxes won’t fix a budget gap created by wasteful spending. Governments need to learn to live within their means just as families do. Many of these same tax hike schemes have been tried in other states, but failed to address financial woes. North Carolina should choose a different path. Making the smart choice to cut spending and waste combined with lower taxes and less burdensome regulation will promote real, long term growth for the state.