Senate wants spending and tax controls in NC Constitution

North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh

North Carolina lawmakers could be obligated to set aside hundreds of millions of dollars annually for emergencies should constitutional amendments get approved by voters statewide early next year.

The Senate scheduled the first of two required votes Tuesday on legislation sought by Republicans that includes a referendum requiring limits on year-to-year state spending growth and a mandate requiring a statewide reserve.

A change approved Monday night on the floor would demand lawmakers set aside an amount equal to 2 percent of prior-year state operating government expenditures - or more than $400 million now - if the amendment is supported by a majority of voters.

The referendum also would ask voters to lower the maximum income tax rate allowed by the state Constitution from 10 percent to 5 percent.

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