NC Senate compromise includes taxpayer bill of rights

Published August 7, 2015

[caption id="attachment_3452" align="alignleft" width="150"]Senator Phil Berger Senator Phil Berger[/caption]

by Brian Balfour, Civitas Review online, August 6, 2015.

The Senate Finance Committee has been quite active these past two days. Late yesterday afternoon, they decided to remove key policy provisions from their state budget proposal. In a response to the House and Gov. McCrory's opposition to the Senate's inclusion of Medicaid reform, sales tax distribution changes and economic incentive measures; the Senate stripped those provisions from their budget plan.

The Senate followed thru this morning, introducing a "compromise" bill addressing the sales tax distribution and economic incentive programs. The bill includes:

  • A change in the Senate's plan for distribution of county-level sales tax revenue. Their original plan would have shifted the distribution to 80 percent being distributed by population and only 20 percent based on point of sale. The new bill includes a 50/50 split.
  • A raise of the cap on the state's Job Development Investment Grant program (JDIG), a crony capitalist taxpayer giveaway program to politically-selected corporations. The Senate plan would require a larger share of the handouts to go to poorer, more rural counties.
  • Tax credits for jet fuel and technology data centers, provisions the House has already approved

The Senate's plan for Medicaid reform is expected to be rolled into a separate bill.

And in a somewhat surprising move, the Senate Finance Committee advanced a committee substitute bill that proposes a taxpayer bill of rights (TABOR) spending restraint along with a reduction in the state constitution's cap on the income tax rate from 10% to 5%. (Click here to read a summary of the bill)

Civitas polling has shown a strong majority support for a TABOR measure – which limits annual state spending increases to a rate tied to the rate of population growth and inflation each year. Opponents of TABOR laws like to point to Colorado, which passed a TABOR in 1992 but suspended it in 2005. But fear not, the left's claims about Colorado is full of myths and downright falsehoods – in this article I thoroughly dismantle each one of the main left-wing myths about Colorado's TABOR experience.