Top of the Morning

Top of the morning

Good for state education czar Bill Harrison, who said Tuesday that he wants lawmakers to pass the increases in the cigarette and alcohol taxes that Governor Beverly Perdue recommended and to temporarily raise the state sales tax, all to protect public schools from the devastating cuts called for in the latest version of the House budget.

Raising the regressive sales tax is not the best way to raise revenue, but at least Harrison is talking publicly about tax increases as part of the way to address next year’s $4.6 billion shortfall.

Perdue’s spokesperson told the N&O that Harrison’s proposals “are not something the governor is pushing.” Perdue did have the good sense to recommend $600 million in tax increases as part of her budget proposal and that was before the shortfall grew by $2 billion.

It would be nice to know what Perdue thinks lawmakers should do now that the shortfall is so much larger.

Just as importantly, let’s hope that Harrison’s public call for new taxes wakes up other key state leaders like UNC President Erskine Bowles and Community College President Scott Ralls. Both have spoken passionately about the damage the proposed House budget would do to their institutions, but neither has yet called for new revenue to prevent it.

4 Comments


  1. IBXer

    June 3, 2009 at 8:40 am

    People aren’t spending money? Quickly, raise taxes!

  2. bob

    June 3, 2009 at 10:37 am

    I would tax people who smoke and drink rather than cut money for teachers and schools. It just doesnt make sense to cut state employees pay.

  3. Billy

    June 3, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Bob, you are exactly right. The only fair thing to do is to tax smokers and drinkers. They don’t mind paying $5 for a pack of cigarettes that are going to kill them…they surely won’t mind paying even more taxes. They should also allow teachers to smoke on campus…they probably buy more cigarettes and beer than any other group of people.

  4. bob

    June 5, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I have had several heavy chain smokers that I work with say that “they didn’t care how much cigarettes went up, that they were going to keep smoking”, which is kind of ironic now that our insurance, aka: state wealth plan, i mean health plan is punishing them for smoking and knocking them down to 70/30 coverage.

Check Also

Anthony Scaramucci thought HB2 was “shameful”

Anthony Scaramucci, President Trump’s new communications director, was ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

When the N.C. Senate elected Tom Fetzer to the UNC Board of Governors in March, it was widely seen a [...]

The 12 minutes spent on the phone with Duke Energy customer service shed no light on how — or if — c [...]

Crumbling ceilings. Failing air conditioning and heating systems. Broken down school buses. Mold inf [...]

This story has been updated with comments from Jim Womack, who did not respond earlier to questions. [...]

Last week, the General Assembly announced which legislators will serve on the Joint Legislative Task [...]

The latest effort in Washington to repeal and not actually replace the Affordable Care Act has a dif [...]

Conservative group “reviewing” bigoted attacks; funding from major NC corporations implicated Nearly [...]

5---number of days since Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham unveiled a new proposal to repeal [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more