06/27/08 — Budget woes: Even state is going to feel economic pinch

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Budget woes: Even state is going to feel economic pinch

With state tax revenues down $70 million, North Carolina families might not be the only ones who are wondering just how they are going to make their budgets come out even this year.

The current economic situation — combined with the ever-increasing gas prices — is making many people stop to think if they need to buy something or if it can wait just a few more months.

They are also thinking twice about where they spend their money — and how much they allocate to certain variables in their lives like entertainment and non-necessities.

Does anyone else think that might be a good idea for the state’s General Assembly as well?

With many communities facing tax and fee increases to cover the higher cost of doing business, local residents, especially homeowners, are seeing their costs skyrocket even as they try to deal with the fickle economy. And along with those bills, families are facing high gas prices that are affecting everything from milk to services.

Very few people have a lot of money to cushion themselves with in their budgets these days.

There just isn’t enough money lying around right now for there to be a state budget that has too much in it that is not absolutely necessary right now. This year, we have to have real priorities and dollars spent in areas that are critical to the future of this state. No pork this year — there just isn’t room.

The governor’s announcement of the deficit was a surprise, legislators say. Why no one thought to ask — or discuss — tax revenues is best left to another day, although it is a very interesting question.

The prescription now is for lawmakers — our representatives — to speak up and to make sure our money is going where it can best be used — even if it takes a few extra days.

Published in Editorials on June 27, 2008 11:07 AM