North Carolina Senate leaders have unveiled a $21.47 billion budget proposal, which is a 2 percent increase over last year.
On the hot button issue of education, the average teacher raise will be 4 percent with starting salaries increased to $35,000 while class sizes are reduced in kindergarten through third grade.
Senate president Phil Berger calls it “a solid budget” despite the fact that the increase is 3 percent lower than the one proposed by the house.
In the proposal, the personal income tax drops from 5.75 to 5.5 percent. In an effort to attract job creators, budget advocates say, the corporate income tax drops from 6 percent to 4 percent in 2016 and to 3 percent in 2017.
The Senate budget, which has a $400 million surplus, includes $100 million raised by increasing the DMV fees 20 percent to adjust for inflation.
The budget also does away with the controversial transfer of money raised by the gas tax to the general fund.
Funds raised by the gas tax will now go towards infrastructure like bridges, roads and highways.
The House and the Senate now will come together to combine their budgets. Usually the final budget is closer to the Senate version.
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