House members have begun committee debate over tax and budget bills that would raise more than $940 million in new taxes.
However, agreement over the tax proposals is hard to come by. Although Democrats control the House, some rank-and-file members are pushing back against proposals by their leaders.
In the House Finance Committee, Rep. Van Braxton, a Kinston Democrat, pushed an amendment that stripped new cigarette and other tobacco taxes from the bill. That amendment passed 22-7, but the tax package is not yet final.
Debate on the tax measure and a related budget bill is expected to continue throughout today.
Meanwhile, some other Democrats say the tax increases don’t go far enough.
“We need to get as close to $2 billion as possible,” said Rep. Earl Jones, a Greensboro Democrat who said he opposed the tax package because it was too small.
Jones called the current tax proposal a symbolic step that fell short of meeting the state’s needs. The state should follow the federal government ‘s example in terms of spending more to spark economic recovery, he said.
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