North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue says her budget plan for the next two years would cut some 10,000 state government positions through eliminating, reducing or changing programs while keeping part of a temporary sales tax.
State Budget Director Charlie Perusse said only about 3,000 of those positions are currently filled.
Perdue on Thursday unveiled the details of her spending proposal through the middle of 2013 to the Republican-led Legislature. Next year's spending plan of nearly $20 billion is higher than the current year's plan but had to make up for lost federal stimulus funds. The budget gap is estimated at $2.4 billion.
To read the governor's entire budget proposal, click on the link at the top of this story
The Democratic governor said she would extend three-fourths of the one-cent sales tax that is s set to expire June 30. That would put the base tax most consumers pay at 7.5 percent. Republicans want the entire penny tax eliminated.
Republicans were quick to criticize the governor's budget.
Senate President Phil Berger says instead of making tough choices to tighten the state's belt, Perdue is balancing the state budget on the backs of taxpayers and governments. "She is breaking her promise to end the taxes she raised, she is underfunding our retirement system and she is saddling local governments with hundreds of millions in additional expenses." Berger said in a statement. "This is not how to get North Carolina back on track.”
Following the release of the budget, Perdue heads to Eastern Carolina. She is scheduled to tour CMI Plastics in the Pitt County Town of Ayden in the afternoon.