McCrory worried about late-night tax agreement

RALEIGH -- Details of the final North Carolina budget deal from House and Senate Republicans aren't public and GOP Gov. Pat McCrory is speaking about the consequences of tax changes he believes are inside.

McCrory told The Associated Press on Saturday he's worried the tax plan reached late Friday night by legislative leaders will expand the sales tax to cover more services and labor, which he calls a tax increase. He also raised warnings about any sales tax redistributions to counties, which in July he threatened to veto.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger's chief of staff confirmed Saturday a tax package would be in the budget but declined to provide many details beyond it being an overall tax cut. Final budget votes are expected this coming week.

One of the tentative budget's big sticking points was education, mainly Driver's Education and teacher assistants. In the Senate's version of budget, funding for Driver's Ed would be completely eliminated and more than 8,500 TAs would lose their jobs.

"A school must have tools to work with," said Melina Zarate, spokesperson for the North Carolina Association of Teacher Assistants.

The NCATA rallied Saturday outside of the General Assembly, saying this industry has already endured heavy cuts.

"We have 7,000 teacher assistants less compared to 2008 and there's no plan to bring them back," said Zarate.

The TAs will learn Monday if those pink slips are coming.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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