The N.C. Senate has started the budget process and thanks to Senator Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) appropriations for the Manufacturing Solutions Center and the Textile Technology Center are intact. Sen. Tillman also is promoting our requests for additional funds to implement a state-wide jobs program through the Kauffman Foundation and to expand the staff and research and development capabilities at the Textile Center. The Senate plan will go to the House later this month…then to conference…and hopefully adopted in mid-June.
Rep. Andy Wells of Hickory and Rep. John Torbett of Gastonia are working with House budget leaders to protect funds for the centers. Rep. Dana Bumgardner of Gaston already is talking with House chairs.
WHERE’S THE REVENUE?
“Don’t tax him; don’t tax me. Tax that guy behind the tree.” U.S. Senate Finance Chair Russell Long often quoted this. Those words could be floating through the halls of the Legislature. Republican leaders have promised major re-writing of the state’s 80-year old tax code, but time is getting short.
Some Senate leaders want to eliminate income taxes altogether as has Tennessee, Florida and several other states. The concept includes a “consumer tax” i.e. sales tax on services including accounting, haircuts, beauty shops, attorneys, yard services, plumbing, etc. etc.
The most conservative legislators are worried this would be a violation of the no-new-taxes pledge they signed.
There are two schools of thought: the new tax code will be rolled out within the next two weeks or lawmakers will come back for another session in early fall.
Rep. Chris Malone of Wake County has introduced a bill that would help companies engaged in fabrication of metal work…and that purchase equipment or attachment or repair parts. The tax is 1 percent of the sales price of the equipment et. al and is capped at $80.
The Senate is moving a bill that authorize so-called payday lenders to raise interest rates up to 36 percent on loans over $500. Consumer advocates opposed the bill, but lenders contend they are losing money based on current limits of 30 percent…Lenders can loan up to $15,000…the previous cap was $10,000.