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Business leaders to Perdue: No new taxes

Charlotte-area business leaders on Tuesday gave Governor-elect Bev Perdue their opinions on how to improve the economy and warned against hiking taxes to shore up a budget deficit. The meeting included some heavy-hitters. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers and Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson were among them. The group asked Perdue to appoint people with business know-how to top positions and urged her not to raise any taxes. UNC Charlotte Chancellor Phillip Dubois asked Perdue to lift a spending freeze on some state construction projects so that his school can build an energy research center that would train people to work in the industry. Perdue mostly listened and said new state spending is a tall order in this economy. "I'm in a dilemma just like you all are in your own businesses. I have to be sure that the state has the resources to meet our obligation to have a balanced budget. And any kind of new authorization of bonded indebtedness requires a funding stream to pay off that loan service," said Perdue. The state could be dealing with a deficit between $2 billion and $3 billion next year.