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Funding Health and Long-Term Care: A Survey on Increasing North Carolina's Cigarette and Alcohol Taxes

North Carolina has a $1.5 billion shortfall in the State budget. To help balance its budget, the State is recommending over $330 million in spending cuts from its health and long-term care services budget. Concerned about the health and long-term care needs of North Carolinians, AARP is examining ways to increase state revenue. North Carolina could increase its cigarette tax or add a designated tax on alcohol.

This survey shows that most North Carolinians age 18 and older oppose cutting spending on health and long-term care services to balance the state budget. Over 60% support raising the state's 5¢ a pack cigarette tax to 30¢ while half support increasing it to 50¢, and 82% support adding an alcohol tax. Raising revenues from these taxes to balance spending cuts is an issue that could influence voting behavior.

Between April 26 and May 6, 2002, Southeastern Institute of Research (SIR) conducted a telephone survey of 810 North Carolina adults age 18 and older. Rachelle Cummins of AARP Knowledge Management analyzed the data and wrote the report; For more information, please, contact her at 202/434-6297. (17 pages)

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