In unfortunate news for North Carolina taxpayers, the headline for this News & Record story—"N.C. budget: Taxes up, services down"—says it all:
N.C. residents will pay more to run their state government but get fewer services in return under the $19 billion budget lawmakers tentatively approved Tuesday.
Voting along party lines, with Democrats in favor, the House voted 65-52 to approve the measure. The Senate vote was 27-17. Both chambers must vote again today to send the deal to Gov. Bev Perdue. Like those who control the House and Senate, Perdue is a Democrat. But the budget is more than a month overdue because members of the two chambers and the governor could not agree on how to bridge what they described as a $4.5 billion budget gap.
Residents who earn more than $60,000 a year will pay more in income taxes and everyone will pay more in sales taxes. The excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco products also will rise, and retailers will now be required to collect sales taxes on certain purchases made over the Internet.
Despite higher rates, the ongoing recession has depressed business and individual earnings to the point where the state will collect less money. That means public schools, state universities, and health and transportation programs will see budget cuts.
Hmmmm...pay more, get less. Maybe Newsweek missed one in its list of states in danger of following California into the fiscal black hole.