12/01/09 — Look out below: News about North Carolina tax collection no plus for taxpayers

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Look out below: News about North Carolina tax collection no plus for taxpayers

Uh, oh, the rumblings are already starting.

The news out of Raleigh is not good when it comes to projected sales tax revenue.

"Why does that matter to me?" you might wonder.

That's an easy one. When the state starts poor-mouthing in December, that can only mean one thing for the upcoming budget season.

Guard your wallets, taxpayers.

Gov. Bev Perdue has already been talking about how she can cover some shortfall, but that she does not know where the state will be able to get billions more dollars if the trend continues to develop into a serious lack of money for the coming fiscal year.

That means that the ridiculous amount of cutting that had to be done to stay afloat this year might not be enough in 2010.

And that leads to another question: Where else can the state cut?

There might be waste in some areas, but the reality is, there simply are not that many more places where cuts can happen without really starting to affect some services that matter to North Carolinians. So education, some social service programs and other state services could take serious hits.

And if that is the reality that state officials will face, look out, that means tax increases might not be far behind.

Now is the time to listen closely and to carry a big stick when it comes to your money. As state officials continue to debate what's coming next, your voice will matter in how they choose to handle the revenue deficit.

Demand accountability early and then listen to the options and let the leadership know how you want them to spend your money.

That's the only way to keep some of it in your pocket.

Published in Editorials on December 1, 2009 10:37 AM