NC Leg pushes $1Billion gas tax hike while offering handouts to cronies

Published February 18, 2015

by Brian Balfour, Civitas Review Online, February 17, 2015.

Senate bill 20 – approved by the Senate last week – would result in a net increase of $1.2 billion in the state's gas tax over the next four years, according to legislative research projections. Naturally, advocacy groups of all stripes and North Carolina motorists are actively opposing such an increase.

Legislators, for their part, are claiming that the extra revenue is absolutely necessary to meet the state's future transportation funding needs.

At the same time state legislators are advancing a bill to sock it to NC motorists, however, they are also introducing bills to extend tax breaks to politically-favored corporations. HB 66 would extend the sales tax exemption provided to qualified data centers by adding to the definition of who can qualify. The specific nature of the bill hints that it is being created with a specific company & project in mind.

Meanwhile, the "NC Competes Act" that was mentioned in Gov. McCrory's State of the State address recently is being stuffed with corporate goodies. Political blog Daily Haymaker reports the draft of the bill includes an additional $45 million in corporate welfare handouts, along with the extension of targeted tax credits for aviation fuel for airlines,  the above mentioned data center exemption, and the historic preservation tax credits.