Vote On State Budget Begins Today

North Carolina lawmakers are deciding on a state budget that will raise taxes on almost everyone, cost some state employees their jobs, and force belt-tightening at public schools and universities.

The House and Senate scheduled the first of two days of voting
on Tuesday on a $19 billion budget that's a month late and that
legislative leaders know will anger constituents.

The proposed budget would raise the sales tax rate by a penny to
generate $800 million in revenue this year. Most consumers would
pay 7.75 percent for the next two years. Higher cigarette and
alcohol excise taxes would raise nearly $70 million.

Still, the state's public schools will have nearly $350 million
less this year than they were appropriated last year.

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