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Soles discusses balancing the state budget

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Negotiations continued in Raleigh Tuesday as state lawmakers try to find common ground on the budget.

Senator R.C. Soles said budget writers met for breakfast this morning as they try to figure out how to pay for the state’s expenses for the next two years.

After more than forty years in the state legislature, you’d think Senator Soles would have seen everything by now, but he says nothing compares to the state’s current budget problem. “I’ve seen good times and bad times. We’re certainly in bad times now, but we’re trying to do what’s right so eventually we can have good times again.”

The Tabor City democrat says the sticking point continues to be differing revenue packages in the House and Senate Finance Committee to pay for what the appropriations committees want to spend.

“The finance people are the Scrooge people, because they’re having to raise the taxes and enhance revenue, and the appropriations people are kind of like the Santa Claus that are giving it out.”

Soles has an interesting perspective; he’s on both committees. “The question now is can we possibly cut enough without destroying the programs and harming the state long range?”

Soles is interested in a Senate plan to broaden the tax base by getting some people used to paying no taxes to pay some tax. “It would be high-income people that have used certain deductions and things to keep from paying taxes. It would also be low-income who have never paid any, but there would be a certain round of people in the really low income that still wouldn’t pay any.”

He says it would raise about $600 million in revenue and let corporate and personal income and sales taxes come down.

Whatever the solution, Soles says it will take cooperation between both parties in both chambers and probably a few more days to finalize.

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videoSenator R.C. Soles said budget writers met for breakfast this morning as they try to figure out how to pay for the state’s expenses for the next two years.

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Associated poll

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