• NC Senate Republicans' $1B tax cut plan ready for vote

    By: Jason Stoogenke


    RALEIGH, N.C. - Senate Republicans are ready to take their tax-cut package to the chamber floor for a vote.

    The Senate scheduled debate Tuesday on a measure that would reduce tax revenues for the state by more than $1 billion through mid-2019.

    The bill called the "Billion Dollar Middle Class Tax Cut" passed the second of three readings in the North Carolina Senate.

    [SENATE BILL 325] 

    If the bill becomes law, North Carolina's income tax would drop from 5.49 percent to 5.35 percent.

    "I think that's where we need to go; more cuts for the middle class,” said Alisha Jackson, a taxpayer. 

    "I absolutely agree,” Darlene Hartzer said. “Average Americans need a break."

    The standard deduction would go up, which is good for taxpayers.

    Married homeowners would be able to deduct $2,000 more for their homes; single people and some others would not.

    The child tax credit wouldn't be a credit anymore. Instead, many could use it to lower their taxable income, especially families who earn less than $40,000.

    "It's good for parents because it's helping them save money and they need more money to support their kids,” Essence Smith said.

    The corporate tax would drop 0.5 percent by 2019. 

    The right-leaning Civitas Institute calls the bill a "good bill." 

    "It continues the efforts of the North Carolina Legislature to continue to modernize our tax system, reduce taxes, make them simpler,” Francis DeLuca said.

    The left-leaning North Carolina Policy Watch said that roughly half the tax cuts would go to the wealthiest 20 percent so the group said the bill doesn't save the middle class a "billion" dollars as the name suggests.

    "Billion-dollar tax cut for the middle class I think is more than misleading,” Chris Fitzsimon said. “I think it's almost absurd."

    Either way, state analysts predict all of these changes would mean $1.8 billion less for the state over the next three years.  Some worry what that would mean for roads and schools.

    The third reading is set for Wednesday.

    If it passes that, the bill goes to the North Carolina House, which has its own tax reform bill.


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