NC budget agreement raises salaries, delays tax cuts

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WNCN) — Republicans at the North Carolina General Assembly have announced a two-year state budget deal that gives raises to teachers, state workers and retirees next year but puts off income tax breaks until 2019.

UPDATE: Cooper slams NC budget deal, calls it ‘most fiscally irresponsible’ he’s ever seen

Senate and House leaders unveiled details of their spending plan Monday, two weeks after negotiations between the two chambers officially opened.

Among the provisions in the $23 billion spending plan: a 3.3 percent average raise for teachers, with a 9.6 percent average raise over the next two years; a $1,000 across-the-board raise for state employees; a 1 percent cost-of-living adjustment for state retirees.

The two chambers will vote later this week on the compromise measure, which would then go to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

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“While we wait for details, the budget outlined by legislative leaders continues to shortchange education, economic development, and middle-class families in favor of more tax giveaways that help the wealthy and large corporations. Those are the wrong priorities,” said Ford Porter, spokesman for Gov. Cooper.

RELATED: Click here to view the budget plan

But Senate leader Phil Berger says the plan includes many of Cooper’s priorities.

“So, today we call on Governor Cooper to support this plan, which achieves what he says are important priorities for our state,” said Berger.

Under the Republicans’ plan, the income tax rate for individuals and corporations would drop. Additionally, the standard deduction would increase. Shelly Carver, a spokeswoman for Sen. Berger, said a married couple with two kids filing jointly who make the median income of $46,868 per year would receive a $213 tax cut.

The agreement also would end the practice of automatically sending 16- and 17-year-olds charged with crimes to adult court.

House Minority Leader Darren Jackson (D-Wake) said he hadn’t seen the budget at the time Republicans made their announcement, adding it wouldn’t be made available to him until the public can view it. Republicans hold a veto-proof majority.

“It looked like a lot of missed opportunities to do some things in a lot of areas, but especially public education,” Jackson said.

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