Raleigh, N.C. — The state Senate gave key approval Tuesday to legislation that would end a state tax credit for low-income workers at the end of this year.
The demise of the earned-income tax credit was included in House Bill 82, which updates sections of the federal tax code for North Carolina taxpayers.
The bill, which has already cleared the House, passed 32-18 on second reading. A final vote is expected Wednesday before the bill heads to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk.
As in the House, Democrats in the Senate tried to amend the bill to extend the EITC, but much of the debate on the proposal offered by Sen. Daniel Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, dealt with taxes on business income and mortgage debt.
Still, Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake, criticized the loss of the EITC and the negative impact that would have on the working poor in North Carolina.
"You are raising taxes on one-fifth of the state by cutting the earned-income tax credit," Stein said, noting that Republican President Ronald Reagan created the credit three decades ago as an anti-welfare, pro-work program.
Senate Minority Leader Martin Nesbitt said "virtually everything in (the bill) is designed to increase people's taxes," noting a number of other adjustments also have tax impacts for individuals and businesses.