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Governor Bev Perdue unveiled her proposed state budget Tuesday. Creating jobs and stabilizing our state’s economy are a few of her top priorities. Despite the state facing the worst budget crunch in decades, Perdue is hoping to close a multi-billion dollar gap in the state’s budget. “The investments that I have strategically made in this budget document is important I believe to the core future success of this state.” Some people call it a ‘Sin Tax.’ Perdue proposed a dollar-per-pack increase in the cigarette tax, moving it from $.35 per pack to $1.35. Her proposal would also increase the alcohol surcharge tax by five percent, as an attempt to stabilize the state’s economy. Many seem in favor of the idea. "If it’s going to a good cause, I don’t mind paying extra taxes. It will cost me a little bit of money. I’ll smoke half a pack a day, I don’t mind,” said Mary Reisler. There is good news on the education front. Perdue does not want tuition increases for community colleges or the state’s public universities. "Improving public education, keeping higher ed accessible and affordable, that’s community college, vocational schools, and the university." Perdue wants to spend money on improving programs for career training in community colleges. "It is very important to put a value on education and training right now. With so many people out of work and looking for work, the more affordable job training is, the better off we will be in the long-run,” said CFCC spokesperson David Hardin. With the help of federal stimulus money, the state would put more than $100 million toward schools; $64 million to increase salaries on an experience-basis for teachers, and more than $3 million for under-performing schools. Ten million dollars would also go to gang prevention programs. In other arenas, infrastructure projects to help create jobs would get $50 million over the next two years even though the governor proposed eliminating more than one thousand state jobs and cutting more than 20 programs deemed inefficient. Another $36 million will help with a tax break for small business owners, and $2 million will go toward to promote tourism in the state. The legislature is expected to review Perdue’s budget plan and approve its own budget by this summer.

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  • jj

    I have an idea.. Why don’t the state stop getting all these companies tax breaks? When you give a break to one person, it comes out of the pocket of someone else.. So, when they give the movie company a break the other tax payers have to make up for it by paying higher taxes..

  • Nanna

    I recently retired from the school system. The systems have too many “assistant superintendents” that make over $75,000 and up a year. They are not hurt by the budget cuts, but the teacher assistants that barely make $20,000 are the ones cut. And they are the ones that do most of the work with our children. The teachers rely on the assistants, but the teachers get the raises. We need to cut the Asst. Supers in the systems, and make the Superintendents earn their paychecks. There are too many Chiefs in ALL the county school central offices and not enough Indians where they are needed. Once the title “assistant superintendent” is added to a job title, the pay hike and increased benefits are astronomical!! If we got rid of the higher ups who do less and less and earn more and more, then there would be funding for the lower people in the system. Granted there are a few that really earn their pay, and I commend those. But from what I have seen firsthand, being in the system for more than 12 years, the majority sit on their rears and let everyone else do the work but they earn more on raises, supplements, and everything else. They are not going to cut their own paychecks no matter what it takes. And, sadly, our children are going to be the ones to suffer as we decrease the staff in their schools. Wake up, Perdue!! Stand UP for the little man in education and quit helping the higher ups! It’s the little man who helped put you where you are today. And the laws you implement today, you will have to live with once your term has ended, so think about it…it’s your grandchildren who have the most to lose with this state budget. And why all of a sudden does it have to be balanced? What happened in years past when it didn’t balance? Where is all the lottery funding going? Cut out all the Medicaid on those who refuse to work and keep on having the kids so they can get a bigger check when they live better than I do and drive a nicer car and dress in the finest!! It’s my tax dollars paying for them and I want a say in how they are being used!! AND another thing: How can you raise taxes on things such as gasoline that we all need to live, when so many of us are out of work and can barely make ends meet??? It’s like adding more salt to the wound, why keep taxing when we can’t pay the taxes now? You can’t get blood out of a turnip but you sure do keep trying…people are going to have to be able to buy food and clothing and heat their homes this winter and if you keep going up on the taxes, there will be more wanting assistance because they cannot afford the basics…it’s a never ending cycle and it needs to be stopped!!

  • Calill

    A few years ago the lottery finally passed and still had a lot of opposition. That created revenue for the state though. The Obama administration just sent over a nice little chunk of stimulus money. North Carolina has one of the highest gasoline taxes in the country. They have their hand out for every nickel and dime they can get from their residents in various other taxes and fees they impose. What would North Carolina have done without the stimulus money or the lottery? Now they want to tax one our biggest industies consumers. I think we should boycott chicken products.

  • Das Weibstück

    South Carolina .07 cents a pack on cigarettes. They are the LOWEST in the country. Close by.

  • Guest000000000

    why don’t other state employees get raises.That is unfair to other workers not to get raises and teachers do. just like the government to put certain state workers on a pedestal.

  • beachbumbaby

    Bev does not have my respect. All Bev is doing is trying to act like Hillary Clinton. The women who are in office needs to care about the American people and not what Oprah,Ellen,etc. thinks about. I just looked at world news tonight. One of the headlines was about what kind of veg. garden the white house wants to have. Bev, and the rest of the demoncrats, relax. Bev, if you like yankees so much, move up north or move to St. James plantation or do like our past governor, move to southport. Oh, by the way, in respect to education, why do we have the N.C. Education Lottery? I reckon to line your pockets and the rest of the greedy politicians

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