I was shocked, honored, and surprised that the Senate President Pro Tempore, Phil Berger asked me just a few days before the end of session to join an elite 3-member conference committee to represent the Senate to work out the differences with the House on H589- a monumental energy bill. H589 helps us grow alternative forms of energy while saving our citizens about $850 million over the next 45 months.
Continuing the model for NC tax reform, the model that has helped lead us to a solid economic recovery, the legislature passed additional tax reductions this session. These were directly targeted towards helping those with lower to middle incomes as well as small businesses. Most of these will be fully recognized by 2019. Some of the highlights for these reductions include:Families and small businesses will keep $530mm of their hard earned income over the next two years. 99% of North Carolinians will see a tax reduction Personal income tax rates will fall from 5.499% to 5.25% Corporate income tax rates will fall from 3.0% to 2.75% The personal standard deduction is raised to $20,000 which means that up to the first $20,000 The franchise tax for small business and S corps has been simplified and reduced by creating A $200 flat tax on the first $1 million of a business’s net worth
My first legislative session came to a close in the wee hours of the morning on June 30th. As I prepare to offer you this wrap-up and I ponder all that got accomplished, those things in which I think you might have the most interest, and some of the things that did not yet get accomplished, I think that it is important for you to realize the environment in which much legislative activity occurred this session. That is to say, the relationship between the governor and the legislature is ‘strained,’ and this relationship set the tone for much of the session. It certainly contributed to the flow and the speed at which both chambers operated.
Here's yet another example of how the state budget we just passed helps address the priorities of NC. I was enthused to have helped ensure that this worthy effort received $15.5 million to bring improved medical care to the mountains.
As a member of the Senate Education/Higher Education Committee I am particularly proud that our UNC President recognizes the commitment of the General Assembly to offer our citizens the opportunity for best in class education…
North Carolina has long benefited from one of the best-supported public university systems anywhere in the country. And the budget state lawmakers approved last month – the best budget for the University in a decade – will help keep it that way, strengthening higher education to meet new challenges in a changing economy. –Margaret Spellings, President- UNC University System
Read the full article here.