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Treasurer Janet Cowell Pushes For Tax Changes

State Treasurer Janet Cowell is urging lawmakers to overhaul North Carolina's tax system as they deal with a $3.7 billion dollar budget shortfall. She says it's time to broaden what is subject to sales taxes because North Carolina has become more dependent on a service-based economy. Cowell wants to tax personal services and entertainment - things like home repair work, concerts and movie tickets. "What I'm proposing is to say this is all revenue-neutral. You're not trying to raise taxes out of this, nor are you necessarily trying to lower taxes out of this. You should come out about even," Cowell said on WFAE's Charlotte Talks program (listen to the entire program here). That's because Cowell also wants to lower the current state sales tax of 6.75 percent. Cowell believes the rate could be lowered to 4.75 percent if more goods and services are taxed. She also wants to lower corporate and personal taxes. Cowell says a lower overall rate would be more attractive to business, and she believes a broader tax system would also give government more stability. She says the current system leads to a boom-and-bust cycle.