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You ask, we answer: What if you don't pay your taxes? - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

You ask, we answer: What if you don't pay your taxes?

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RALEIGH, N.C. -
Taxes---everyone pays them. The government says those dollars are necessary to keep us safe, pave our roads and fund our schools.

But there are a lot of people out there who don't pay those taxes. What happens then?

The Governor’s office says one of the things that must happen is belt tightening. On Thursday, Pat McCrory sent out a memo to state agencies asking them to exercise restraint. McCrory is trying to steer away from tapping into the state's reserves---something that is still very possible. 

He ordered cabinet-level agencies to discontinue most salary increases, limit purchases, reduce travel expenses and reconsider contract work. The restrictions don't apply to Medicaid and other entitlement programs.

Agencies led by other members of the Council of State - the attorney general and state treasurer among them - aren't required to follow the spending requests because McCrory hasn't declared a budget emergency, state Budget Director Art Pope said. That's because there's currently enough money in reserves and elsewhere to cover expenses. Still, Pope said, council agencies will receive monthly funds at the reduced rate. Council members were being alerted by phone to the directive.

Lawmakers and the McCrory administration are keeping a close eye on April 15th tax payments. Charlie Helns, the Director of Collections at the State Department of Revenue says his job is to make sure people are paying their taxes.

“We certainly want to try to do everything we can to try to fund state government. We want to make sure that everyone pays their fair share. We want to collect every dime that's due, but not one dime that's not due.”

According to last year's numbers, citizens owe $719 million and the Department of Revenue is working to collect it.

“From my perspective, I think our job is important to collect and identify what people haven't paid what they should.” Helns said. 

The governor says this year's budget included another $214 million from the state's reserves and $324 million that wasn't appropriated.

In mid-May the legislature returns for its annual work session, where they'll discuss adjustments to next year's budget. Officials say any shortfalls will affect adjustments for next year's $21 billion budget.
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