RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — State legislative leaders said Monday that strides toward an agreed-upon budget are being made. That budget, they said, will bring lower income taxes to North Carolinians, but more time is needed before an agreement on a final budget is reached.

State legislators are still hammering out details of the state budget, but leaders of both chambers say they’ve made significant progress in key areas including agreeing on a tax package.

Currently the income tax rate stands at 4.75% with a reduction to 3.99% scheduled for 2027.

House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate Leader Phil Berger, both Republicans, confirmed the plan, once solidified, will lower taxes beyond that.

However, Moore pointed out that it will also include provisions to make sure the state has enough money in the budget to handle the tax cuts. 

“We won’t release what the details are just yet, but we’re working through it, and I think it’s something that represents a continued path of reducing taxes in North Carolina, but having appropriate safeguards in place in the form of triggers to make sure NC doesn’t get in a situation where we have a shortfall,” said Moore. 

Legislative leaders confirmed they’ve agreed on raises for teachers and state employees, but did not provide details.

“There has already been an agreement between the House and Senate conferees on the salary packages, subject to as we try to work everything else out and make sure that the money works,” noted Senate President Pro Tempore, Phil Berger. 

The budget was supposed to go into effect July 1. State Attorney General, Josh Stein, a Democrat who’s running for governor released a statement saying, in part:

“This never-ending budget bickering is doing nothing to keep North Carolina a state where families want to live and companies want to do business.”

Moore said a vote on the budget could come the week of August 13, while Berger seemed less optimistic that it would happen that quickly.

“I think the problem with two weeks from today really isn’t the the differences between the House and the Senate,” said Berger. “It’s just the sheer number of things we’ve got to work our way through.”

Berger said he’s hopeful a budget will be finalized by the end of August.