Repubs question Perdue's credibility

July 9, 2009 3:21:41 PM PDT
North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer took aim at Governor Beverly Perdue Thursday and her plan to raise the state sales tax by a penny.While Perdue has said the tax would be temporary, Fetzer says that claim is not credible.

"I’m here to tell you that if we are counting on Bev Perdue to stick to her word, this tax will linger with us for years to come. Bev Perdue has no credibility on this issue," said Fetzer at a news conference.

He says Perdue presided over the Democratic-led Senate as lieutenant governor when it approved a sales tax increase in 2001 that was supposed to last only two years. A quarter-penny of that tax is now permanent.

"During her time in the legislature and presiding over the Senate as Lt. Governor, Bev Perdue expressed no concerns when temporary taxes were enacted or extended. She is a tax and spend liberal and her take on this budget proves it," Fetzer added.

Perdue suggested earlier this week that lawmakers approve a one-cent sales tax increase that would last 13 months to help deal with a large budget gap and protect education and other vital services.

The GOP says the gap is exaggerated and no new taxes are needed.

Democrats counter that the budget crisis is very real and say Republicans are simply playing politics.

"I think they're going to blast whatever we do," offered House Majority Leader Hugh Holliman. "It's typical of the Republican side. It's always about taxes. They never want to talk about the classroom, educating children, taking care of the ill and elderly."

Governor Perdue has been trying to raise public support for a tax increase with rallies around the state. Now, Republicans are criticizing the way she's been getting there.

"To go around and say we really need to raise taxes a billion and a half dollars, but I'm not going to be frugal enough with your money to drive. I'm going to crank up the state jet with all the costs associated with that I just think that's exorbitant," said Fetzer.

But Democrats say they're not wasting money. In fact, they say the proposed budget they're working on is very lean.

"This is a much less budget than we've had in the past two to three years. We've cut three times as much as we're looking at adding in taxes. We too are concerned with taxes, but we're equally concerned with some of the things we're having to cut such as teachers in the classroom," said Holliman.


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