Raleigh, N.C. — Who says bipartisanship is dead?
A tax reform bill filed by Sen. Dan Clodfelter, D-Mecklenburg, is getting praise from Republican leaders, including the chief GOP tax drafter in the state Senate.
Clodfelter's 57-page rewrite of the state tax code lowers tax rates in exchange for broadening the base, which is policy-speak for taxing more things. Individual and corporate income tax rates would drop to 6 percent. Sales taxes would also drop, but they would be applied to some services that aren't taxed now.
Republican lawmakers have said a rewrite of the state's tax code would feature prominently in this year's legislative session. There is broad agreement among Republicans and Democrats that North Carolina's tax code is out of date and serves as a drag on the economy.
"There are a lot of good ideas included in Sen. Clodfelter's bill," said Sen. Bob Rucho, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, calling the measure "a good first step."
Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, went so far as to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill. Clodfelter, it should be noted, headed the Senate Finance Committee when Democrats last controlled the chamber.
That said, Rucho added that Republicans would likely introduce their own tax reform measure, which would expand on ideas put forward by Clodfelter.
"We're very close to what we want to do," he said.
It is still unclear, he said, whether lawmakers would try to make a rewrite of the state's tax code as part of the budget or move it as a separate bill.