By Joana Scopel

State senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) expressed support for cutting the state’s personal income tax rate in half as legislative leaders prepare the upcoming budget proposal for North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D).

Last year’s budget agreement dropped to 4.99% and could drop more each year until 2027 when it will reach 3.99%. However, Sen. Berger said it should go even lower, saying, “2.5% sounds fine to me.”

income tax
Photo by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash

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Over the last several weeks, new polling was released by the GOPAC Education Fund and the Center for American Ideas and, conducted by the Differentiators — a Republican firm founded by two former employees of Sen. Berger — found support in legislative districts for cutting the personal income tax rate to 2.5% in 2030.

However, Democrats oppose cutting the income tax rate further. Instead of this measure, they support a one-time $200 rebate to help people deal with rising gas prices.

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The Differentiators polls have found wide support for Medicaid expansion, legalizing medical marijuana, and cutting state income taxes.

Earlier in June, the Senate passed a bill to expand Medicaid coverage to about 600,000 more people and make changes related to access to healthcare. Sen. Berger believes it’s “good state policy.”

In addition, the Senate passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana and another bill dealing with parental rights in education that also limits how LGBTQ issues are taught in schools.

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However, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said this issue may have to wait as first he’ll focus on getting a budget agreement.

“I feel very confident that Republicans will have a supermajority next year. When I say next year, I mean six months from now. We can deal with this then,” Moore concluded.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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