Presnell bill now includes new sales tax option

Jul 16, 2014

A two-page bill introduced by Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, to change provisions of the law that pave the way for providing up to $12 million in funding for which Evergreen Packaging could be eligible has morphed into an economic development bill Republicans say will improve jobs in the state.

After House Bill 1224 passed the house, it was revamped in the Senate Finance Committee to include a number of provisions N.C. Department of Commerce Sharon Decker said were needed to attract industry to the state.

"I didn't even know they were doing that to my bill," Presnell said. "I got up this morning and my bill went from a two-page bill to a 14-page bill overnight. They didn't ask me."

Since the provisions were at the request of Decker, Presnell said she was OK with the changes, including the ones that allow commissioners to had increased sales taxes within their counties.

One of the provisions added to Presnell's bill allow commissioners to implement up to a half cent sales tax to help fund additional teachers or teacher assistants, teacher raises, school construction needs or community colleges at the local level, providing it is passed by a local referendum.

"If that's what the people want, then I'm OK with it," said Presnell in a Wednesday interview.

Other changes would expand eligibility for the state’s Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund (JMAC), a program designed to retain jobs in rural North Carolina, making more businesses eligible for the grant program, including those making capital investments to become more energy efficient.

The bill also creates a Job Catalyst Fund for large manufacturers that meet minimum criteria – including a requirement to create at least 500 new jobs and increases the cap on the Job Development Investment Grants (JDIG) program, providing the N.C. Economic Investment Committee and the Secretary of Commerce an additional $14 million next year to deploy for economic development and job recruitment.

The education provisions give county commissions more flexibility in using the revenue generated from existing local option sales taxes in addition to the option of generating new sales tax revenue.

Under the bill, counties may use the existing local option sales tax that currently may only be used for public transit to support public education spending in classrooms at the local level. Under the expanded authorization, a county could implement up to a half cent sales tax to help fund additional teachers or teacher assistants, teacher raises, school construction needs or community colleges at the local level — if passed by a local referendum.

 

 

Comments (4)
Posted by: Scott Lilly | Jul 17, 2014 11:15

Again a nice topic/article to debate.  Shifting funds from the federal level to the state level is a great idea.  California has so many votes in the House that they always get more than their fair share of money we send to DC.  Anyone going to California will see how nice things are with the country's worst government budget.  Don't give the money to the feds for states like California to take.

 

Same logic applies to the state level.  Don't send our money to Raleigh so that people all over the state get to decide how it's sliced up.  For things that are state-wide, that's probably ok.  But so much of "politics" is subject to gerrymandering and therefore indicative that it's best not to play that game.

 

County lines are not able to be gerrymandered.  What you reap is what you sow and accountability to all citizens equally is a good strategy.  Of course those that spend more will pay more, but that seems to be a fair way to do things.

 

I say get behind the bill.  Show Rep. Presnell some love on this.

 



Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Jul 19, 2014 10:12

           Local referendums to increase spending for public education are no business of the state.

           Mr. Lilly again shows little knowledge of how OUR republic works.

 

             C.Z.



Posted by: Doris Hammett | Jul 19, 2014 11:05

I sent this letter to Representative Joe Sam Queen

 



Posted by: Doris Hammett | Jul 19, 2014 11:05

Presnell House Bill 1224

As amended in the Senate

Representative Joe Sam Queen                                                                   Joe.Queen@ncleg.net

 

Dear Joe Sam:

          I am concerned the above bill is not a positive solution to the education needs of Haywood County.  As it was reported in the Mountaineer it allows the county commissions to implement up to a half cent sales tax to help fund additional teachers, teacher assistants, teacher raises, school construction needs or community college at the local level providing it is passed by a local referendum.

          I understand the County Commissioners have the authority to provide funding for the above by the use of the property tax.  I also understand that the voters were told that the state “education” lottery was to provide funding for school construction.  The State legislature takes thousands of dollars from this fund every year for general expenses.

          This bill provides something for every cause and for everybody, none of which the local voters can direct.  I cannot support this bill for education.

          Doris B. Hammett, MD

          dbhammett1@hotmail.com



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