Lawmakers: Budget requires tax hikes, deep cuts – Elizabeth City Daily Advance

As a conference committee of House and Senate members tries to hammer out a balanced budget for next year, two area lawmakersagree the spending plan will require some form of tax hikes as well as deep program cuts.

State Rep. Bill Owens, D-Pasquotank, said he expects both deeper cuts and some kind of tax hike before the budget is finished. The seven-term lawmaker said it was by far the toughest budget year he has ever seen.

“We had well over $4 billion worth of cuts to start with,” Owens said. Even using about $1.5 billion in federal stimulus money, the state still faces a $3 billion shortfall, he said.

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