New tax talks continue Monday

RALEIGH Several plans have already been discussed, but one in particular would broaden the sales tax to include 55 different services and activities.

With a push for $1 billion in new taxes to cover an even bigger budget shortfall, some state leaders want to tax services and activities like bowling, landscaping, golf and tickets to NASCAR races.

"They need to be prudent about what they're spending the money on," Apex resident Scott Barnes said. "You should pay a little bit extra for luxury type things you really don't need to have."

"We're in trouble," Fuquay-Varina resident Jim Haseker said. "We need to balance the budget and pay off some debt. I think we all have to do our part. It's not going to be easy. I think bowling, golf -it's all a luxury."

But others said the state needs to spend less.

Some senate Democrats said by taxing activities, cigarettes and alcohol, they could lower income tax and sales tax rates.

And that's fine for some taxpayers like Barnes who wants to make sure education comes out unscathed.

"We've had some serious discussions about the whole tax issue not long ago and one thing, and I'm glad to see Governor Perdue is, not willing to cut education and if it means paying a little higher taxes on this and that, then I'm all for it," Barnes said.

However, Republicans argue now is not the time to raise taxes.

Lawmakers need to pass a budget by July 1.

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