Inside Politics

NC House speaker wants tax reform

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The leader of the North Carolina House laid out his wish list for this year's General Assembly session at a news conference in Raleigh Tuesday.

Among other things, House Speaker Thom Tillis of Cornelius said he's interested in education reform, changing unemployment benefits, passing a voter ID bill and tax reform.

Tillis said he's all for eliminating the corporate income tax but is concerned about reworking the rest of the state's tax system too quickly.

"I think we will arrive at an approach that does seem to lower corporate income taxes, does seem to lower personal income taxes and our members will work with the Senate and Governor to figure out how to do that judiciously," said Tillis.

But critics don't like the sound of tax cuts when the state has already been tightening its belt to pay bills in recent years.

"This is after four years of budget cuts that have left teachers with no supplies, bigger classes, that have meant cuts to our mental health system that is struggling to stay afloat and provide services people need - raising tuition on college campuses - we can't simply keep slashing our way to prosperity," said Chris Fitzsimon with NC Policy Watch.

The Senate and House will gavel in their sessions Wednesday after a three-week break.

Tillis already has said he anticipates a quick fix to a funding problem involving group homes and its residents who are mentally ill or developmentally disabled. He also said last week the House Finance Committee will consider an unemployment insurance overhaul bill Thursday.

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