Proposed State Tax Increases

The House will consider a nearly $18 billion budget proposal for North Carolina state government next year that would grow if a $940 million tax plan is also approved.

The chamber's two largest committees are expected Tuesday to consider the spending bill for the next two years and a separate tax package that would increase sales and income tax rates and taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.

Rep. Paul Luebke of Durham County is the chief architect of the tax package. He said additional revenues would target cuts in education and health care that lawmakers and advocates consider the most onerous.

The plan would change the sales tax rate most people pay from 6.75 percent to 7 percent, while two new income tax brackets would be created for the state's highest wage earners. The cigarette tax also would go up 25 cents per pack to 60 cents.

House Democrats are in the majority and want a budget approved by the end of the week. Republicans say they won't support higher taxes.

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