Missed Opportunities in North Carolina

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North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has presented a $21 billion budget proposal that would cut spending across the board and relies on regressive revenue-raisers to plug the state's budget shortfall. Governor Perdue is also proposing to cut spending by $1.3 billion in each of the next two years. On Tuesday she said, "The budget I'm releasing today, I believe, makes strategic investments that will create jobs and increase overall per-student spending, and is a balanced budget." But it's clear that the Governor is missing a real opportunity to be forward-thinking. She could have chosen to improve the state's tax structure through sales tax base expansion and increased progressivity of the income tax, which would offset the regressive effects of her proposed increases in the state's cigarette and alcohol taxes. Let's hope that the Governor's budget isn't the last word on how to fix the state's budget shortfall.

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