RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WNCN) – A final North Carolina budget deal has cleared its first formal hurdle.
The Senate voted 33-16 Tuesday for a budget compromise between the General Assembly’s Republican leaders after nearly three months of negotiations. A final Senate vote is required Wednesday.
The House will take up the legislation Thursday and Friday. The bill would then go to Gov. Pat McCrory.
The plan spends nearly $22 billion and fully funds teaching assistants and driver’s education in schools. There are $750 bonuses for state employees and teachers. The personal income tax rate would fall, but sales taxes also would apply to more services.
Among those services are appliance installation and car repairs.
The owners of Brown’s Alignment and Brake Service in Raleigh are concerned about the potential impact of that tax increase.
“It would have a negative effect on our business and also be a burden on our consumers to also have another tax added to what they already have,” said co-owner Scott Norris. “I would prefer to see them reduce the spending, control the budget and avoid additional tax on the consumers that’s not needed.”
Senate Republicans say the measure exemplifies disciplined spending and pro-growth policies. During debate Tuesday they pointed to the reduction in the personal income tax rate and argued taxpayers would see an overall net reduction in taxes.
“Yes, there were some increases on some fees, but the cuts on the taxes exceeded the increases in the fees. So, that’s fiscal responsibility,” said Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson).
Democratic counterparts say it gives too much to millionaires and corporations at the expense of public schools and teachers.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report