The spending plan has taken a backseat to the debate over expanding gambling in the state
North Carolina’s last state budget expired on June 30, but lawmakers are expected to vote soon on a $30 billion spending plan.
Budget talks had broken down because of disagreements on a host of issues ranging from tax cuts to expanding casino gambling in the state. On Tuesday, however, legislative leaders announced they would set aside the casino issue and pass a final budget in the coming days.
Legislatures released the 625-page spending plan Wednesday afternoon. Click here to read it.
Provisions include a cut in the personal income tax, a pay raise for most teachers and state employees, and $500 million to encourage new business in the state.
NFIB State Director Gregg Thompson said he was encouraged by this week’s progress.
“There’s a lot here to digest, but we’re encouraged that it appears the legislature has agreed to relieve some of the financial pressure on small businesses,” Thompson said. Reducing the personal income tax would help, he said, because most small businesses in North Carolina are organized as pass-through entities, meaning any profits pass through the business to the owners, who pay taxes at the individual tax rate.
The delay in reaching an agreement on the budget put many small businesses in a bind, Thompson said.
“Lawmakers are dealing with a lot of complex issues, but small business owners need predictability,” he said. “Without a state budget, our members can’t be sure how much they’ll need to pay in taxes, and that affects other business decisions such as whether to replace old equipment or add positions.”