Friday, August 03, 2007

Economy and Finance

We have managed to make the budget fiscally sound and have set aside $175 million for our reserve fund and $145 million for repair and renovation of state owned buildings. We also gave local governments authority to enact a quarter-cent sales tax or a land transfer tax of 4/10 of a penny with voter approval. This will help them build new schools to lessen the demands of increasing school populations and to make other infrastructure improvements without raising property taxes.

We know that our citizens work hard to provide for their families and pushed for a 3.5 percent refundable earned income tax credit to help working families, small businesses, and people who earn about $40,000 or less. We also appropriated $3 million to the North Carolina Minority Support Center and $1.5 million to the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development to support businesses owned by minorities and women. We realize that people make mistakes and will give $3 million in tax breaks to help put released inmates back to work and help keep people from returning to prison. To stimulate job growth, we gave the One North Carolina Fund $14 million and appropriated $12.4 million for Job Development Investment Grants. These investments will stimulate our economy, create more jobs, and put more money in North Carolinians' pockets.

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