Perdue gives budget sneak peak

ASHEVILLE Despite all the talk about cutting back at the state level - Perdue has called for a 9 percent reduction in spending - the measures she announced Thursday will increase spending in some areas.

“We must continue to move North Carolina forward even in these challenging times. In my budget I will make targeted investments to create jobs and prepare North Carolina to be an economic leader as our nation recovers,” said Gov. Perdue in a statement released to the media.

Here's what she's proposing:

· Small Business Tax Relief: Businesses with profits less than $100,000 will be able to exempt the first $25,000 of net income from state tax. Businesses with profits between $100,000 and $200,000 will exempt the first $15,000.

· Expand Earned Income Tax Credit: Beginning in the next calendar year, the credit would be increased from 5% to 6.5%.

· Jobs Now initiative: Spend more than $17 million in community college and vocational education courses and programs focused on job training and preparing students for new careers.

· Main Street Solutions program: Spend $7 million on the Main Street Solutions program to drive regional job creation in small and medium-sized towns and cities.

· One NC Small Business Fund: $2 million for small companies to match federal innovation grants.

· Founder’s Credit: Establish a Founder’s Credit, which will exclude initial stock investments in certain North Carolina start-up companies from capital gains tax to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

· Green Business Fund: $5 million for the Green Business Fund to encourage the growth of North Carolina businesses that use fuel and other natural resources more wisely and effectively.

· Defense and Aerospace: $3 million investment for expanding North Carolina’s defense and aerospace industry to create jobs.

· Destination NC: $1.5 million to brand North Carolina as a business and tourism destination.

· Water/Sewer Infrastructure: More than $47 million in state funds to maximize federal resources for water and sewer and other similar infrastructure projects that support economic growth.

“Helping small businesses compete more effectively, developing our workforce, and fostering innovation and entrepreneurship are all vital to a strong business climate,” said Perdue.

The Governor is set to announce her full budget package next week.

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