Friday, May 11, 2007


The finance package proposes nearly $290 million in tax relief over the next two years. The package is balanced and offers breaks to low wage earners, small businesses, emerging industries, those planning for retirement, environmentally friendly industries, and farmers.

The chief feature is an earned-income tax credit expected to benefit 825,000 taxpayers in North Carolina who are considered the working poor. The change would help offset the costs of other taxes paid by these workers and the estimated tax savings will be $69 million in 2008-09, its first year. The credit is refundable, meaning that in some cases it will not only eliminate the tax burden for low wage earners, but it could put money in their pockets in the form of tax refunds they otherwise may not have received.

Another tax credit would phase out a sales tax on electricity, and the excise tax on piped natural gas for manufacturers and farmers. Estimated savings are $14 million in the first year increasing to $42 million by third year.

A change in the tax code allows small businesses to immediately claim tax credits on property and equipment rather than spreading it out over several years. Estimated yearly savings are $36 million for these small companies which are essential to our economy. Other changes in the tax code are expected to provide $21 million in savings - a total of $57 million.

This plan, crafted and approved by Democratic majority in the House, is balanced, offering tax breaks to the poor and those small business people who help drive our economy. We also took care to look out for the people in our state who need help. Education remains our main focus, though, and our plan gives our students, schools, and colleges the resources to succeed.

The bill now goes to the Senate and then to the governor. The goal is to have the new spending plan in place before the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2007.

I appreciate your taking the time to contact me with your concerns and questions regarding the business of the Legislature.



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