NC Budget Hole Grows Based On New Tax Cut Analysis

North Carolina income tax collections for 2014 are expected to fall $205 million short of earlier projections following Republican-backed tax cuts approved last year.

A memo from the legislature's Fiscal Research Division says the wages of North Carolina's workers haven't grown as fast as originally forecast, resulting in the projected cost of the 2013 tax cuts rising from $475 million to $680 million. The analysis did not include projected sales tax revenues, which could climb.

The new estimate comes as Republican leaders are trying to negotiate an end to the state's budget impasse while searching for money to raise salaries for public school teachers. The 2013 reform plan lowered the individual tax rate for all earners to 5.8 percent, with the biggest cut going to the state's wealthiest taxpayers.