Perdue calls for sales tax hike

NC Governor Beverly Perdue (Steve Helber)

January 17, 2012 5:25:26 PM PST
Governor Beverly Perdue said Tuesday she'll propose a three quarter of a cent sales tax to support North Carolina schools when she sends her state budget proposal to the General Assembly this spring.

In a statement from her office, Perdue said her plan is to restore a tax eliminated by the Republican controlled legislature - calling it a "fraction of a penny for progress."

"Education has always been part of the fabric of who we are as a people in North Carolina and it's the key to our future. We must stop the deep and unnecessary cuts that are going on in North Carolina's schools," said Perdue.

GOP officials quickly fired back against the proposal.

"Obviously, Gov. Perdue's attempt to nip this economic recovery in the bud is dead on arrival at the General Assembly," said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger, (R) Rockingham."The Democratic primary for governor apparently has devolved into a fight over who can raise the most taxes, spend the most money, and grow the biggest government. Gov. Perdue's latest tax-hike stunt proves she can't fix this mess she made."

"Governor Perdue continues to show that she is out of touch with North Carolinians and lacks a basic understanding of our economy.  Her proposal, which would raise the state portion of the sales tax by an estimated 15%, would make it harder for working families to purchase prepared food, clothing, medical supplies and other basic necessities to support an extreme agenda for larger government. That is completely unacceptable. This regressive tax would make it more expensive for single moms to buy carryout food for their children, force seniors to pay more for medical supplies, and would negatively impact every level of society. Now is not the time to raise taxes, especially in light of the fact that the General Assembly's education budget was only 0.5% different than the Governor's ? and we did not raise taxes."

Perdue said she would dedicate the tax money to schools.

In calling for the hike, Perdue cited the North Carolina Association of School Administrators, which pointed out recently that North Carolina has fallen to 49th in the nation in per-pupil funding.

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