Legislators in the North Carolina House are expected to approve their budget plan this evening. Under this spending proposal, teachers would receive a 3.3 percent raise, on average; retired state employees would get a modest cost of living adjustment; and taxes would be cut by an estimated $350 million.
A key provision within the House budget seeks to increase the standard deduction. For married couples who file jointly, that would mean the first $18,500 of income would be tax free.
"It wasn’t that long ago that it was only six thousand dollars that was exempt from tax – we have tripled that,” said House Speaker Tim Moore. “We have tripled the amount that a North Carolina citizen does not have to pay tax on their earnings."
Final approval of the $22.9 billion spending plan is expected tomorrow.
Then, the House and Senate will hash out differences in their proposals. The biggest divide comes over taxes – how much to increase the standard deduction and whether or not to drop individual and corporate rates. The Senate plan calls for a tax cut of about $1.1 billion over two years.
“I want to understand why the Senate believes that they want down the particular path they do,” Moore said. “I want to make sure they understand where we are, and in the end we will come to a number that will work.”
Moore said he expects the chambers to reach a deal well before the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. The budget then goes to Governor Roy Cooper who can sign, veto, or let it become law without his signature.