Sen. Berger: Council of State Must Vote Down Bad Deal on Dix

The Council of State will meet Tuesday morning at 9:00 and will face a decision of what do with the Dorothea Dix property in Raleigh. Governor Bev Perdue wants the other elected officials on the panel to approve a deal she worked out to allow the city of Raleigh to lease the land for 75 years.  Republicans leaders in the General Assembly say that’s a waste of very valuable land owned by the srtate and are urging the Council of State members not to go along with Perdue’s deal. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger the nonpartisan Fiscal and Program Evaluation Division estimates the lease deal, after factoring in inflation, is only worth $22.6 million.

“Even Gov. Perdue’s senior advisers readily admit her plan shortchanges North Carolina taxpayers,” said Berger. “I trust the Council of State will carefully weigh this important decision. And I know they understand their responsibility to be more than a rubber stamp for Gov. Perdue and her attempt to cobble together a last-minute legacy.”

Berger says the lease “dramatically” lower than even the most unfavorable appraisal of the property.

Gov. Perdue Promises to Raise Taxes in Next Budget

Governor Bev Perdue put out a press release announcing she would raise the sales tax in the budget she will present to the General Assembly for the Spring short session. She said that would pay for education cuts in the plan passed by the legislature. Legislative leaders said they haven’t seen the horror stories come true that were predicted by Democrats because of that budget.

A recent article posted on the Civitas Institute noted an increase in spending and hiring within the education budget.

Perdue was quoted in the press release:

“I want to let you know that when I present my budget this spring, I will once again call on the Republican-controlled General Assembly to temporarily restore three-quarters of the one-cent sales tax as a vital step to funding our schools.”

Perdue’s promised tax increase mirrors the same pledge made by Rep. Bill Faison (D-Orange) who appears to be setting himself up for a primary challenge to Perdue. He also called for increasing the sales tax.

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) pointed that out in a press release reacting to Perdue’s pledge.

“Obviously, Gov. Perdue’s attempt to nip this economic recovery in the bud is dead on arrival at the General Assembly,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham). “The Democratic primary for governor apparently has devolved into a fight over who can raise the most taxes, spend the most money, and grow the biggest government. Gov. Perdue’s latest tax-hike stunt proves she can’t fix this mess she made.”

Berger said The Governor seemed to be wanting to one up Faison. Sen. Berger noted while Faison would raise the tax by $700 million, Perdue’s proposal would up it by $750 million.

Update:

House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) issued the following statement today regarding Gov. Bev Perdue’s proposal to raise $750 million in new taxes:

“Governor Perdue continues to show that she is out of touch with North Carolinians and lacks a basic understanding of our economy.  Her proposal, which would raise the state portion of the sales tax by an estimated 15%, would make it harder for working families to purchase prepared food, clothing, medical supplies and other basic necessities to support an extreme agenda for larger government.  That is completely unacceptable.  This regressive tax would make it more expensive for single moms to buy carryout food for their children, force seniors to pay more for medical supplies, and would negatively impact every level of society.  Now is not the time to raise taxes, especially in light of the fact that the General Assembly’s education budget was only 0.5% different than the Governor’s – and we did not raise taxes.”