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Five new laws for 2015

Posted January 1, 2015

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— At the stroke of midnight that rang in New Year's Day, the last set of laws passed by the General Assembly in 2013 and 2014 went into effect

Most of the flashy stuff lawmakers did last year, such as new criminal laws making it a felony to steal a Venus flytrap, went into effect in 2014. But a few tax changes and a grab-bag of civil laws take effect Thursday. Here are five you may want to know about:

1) A change to the state's film incentive program will limit the grants available for movie and television producers that use North Carolina as a backdrop for their productions. Industry officials say they are already seeing business head to other states that have more generous programs, such as Georgia. 

2) This is a holdover from 2013's tax reform bill, but the corporate income tax is scheduled to drop from 6 percent to 5 percent for the 2015 tax year. It's unclear what part, if any, this change will play in aiding or frustrating slower-than-expected tax collections that have left North Carolina coffers $190 million short of projections as of December.

3) The state will begin imposing a fuel tax similar to the tax paid on gasoline and diesel on cars and trucks that run on natural gas.

4) Provisions of a bill meant to keep public employees from artificially driving up their post-retirement pension payments late in their careers, a practice known as pension spiking, go into effect.

5) Those selling property in the state will have to give buyers a separate form detailing whether the mineral rights on that property are still attached or have been sold. This move is meant to help buyers of property in areas where drilling for natural gas is taking place. North Carolina officials expect to issue the state's first drilling permits sometime in 2015.

Links to more laws that the General Assembly voted to put in place last year are available from the legislature's website.

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  • Jack Jones Jan 5, 2015
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    Uh . . . removing regulations and cutting taxes leads to child labor, poisoned water, and crumbling infrastructure. Take a look at Kansas.

  • Jack Jones Jan 5, 2015
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    Tax cuts will never lead to prosperity for the state given the low rates NC has now. Look at the Kansas death-spiral and be prepared for the same thing in NC if Republicans don't change course.

  • Gary Lasereyes Jan 5, 2015

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    JFK would be considered a conservative today.

  • miseem Jan 2, 2015

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    NC has been quite competitive in business relocations and expansions for decades. In fact, it has ranked in the top five most years for the last two decades. Must be something besides lower tax bringing them here. Bribing companies to come here seldom works in the long run. We have evidence of that in closings of company facilities we bribed into coming here over the last 10 years. So if you think that bribing BMW with hundreds of millions of dollars to build a plant here and hitting me with higher sales tax to cover what they don't have to pay is fair, why are you complaining about expanding Medicaid? That is a real no loss to the state by expanding, but there is a real loss by not doing it. Even after the state has to pick up a small percent of the cost, it will still provide a 90% return on money we pay in federal tax. And provide thousands (not hundreds) of jobs, most a lot better paying than fast food or poultry processing.

  • miseem Jan 2, 2015

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    Taxes were quite a bit higher as income rose under JFK. The attitude would have been different if the rates were what they are today.

  • disgusted2010 Jan 2, 2015

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    You can if you cut entire programs rather than across the board cuts. Problem is that once the legislature/congress creates a program it rarely ever dies. There are many in NC/US that have long ago outlived their usefullness (if they were ever useful at all), but they have some constituency that would scream if they were eliminated. Its "easier" (actually safer and more cowardly) to make across the board cuts. Problem is that most of the fat in state government was cut out years ago and cuts now just hurt those the program was designed to protect/serve, etc. Legislators will rarely make the hard decisions.

  • Kenny Dunn Jan 2, 2015
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    The problem is that you can't cut your way to prosperity. This is what they have been trying in Europe in recent years and it leads down a dark path. There needs to be a middle way.

  • turkeydance Jan 1, 2015

    1. movie folks vote D. NC is R. don't care.
    2. corp.tax is a tax on you. you win 1%.
    3. NC has the most expensive Dixie tax.
    4. just like Coach Gut when Dean retired.
    5. horse/barn bill. already too late.

  • Dean Logan Jan 1, 2015
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    You know that you can fix the budget short fall by cutting spending. The answer doesn't always have to be to raise taxes.

  • Ernest Borgnine Jan 1, 2015
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    Lowering the corporate tax rate... your government at work for the haves versus average working Republicans like me. That sort of budgetary trickery would make Teddy Roosevelt and even Reagan sick. By doing this, we have no budgetary room to accommodate simple things such as growth for education, roads, or infrastructure improvements, and we weaken our ability for genuine long term economic growth and success as we are not investing in solutions for today's problems. And, those problems won't go away. While some of these laws are common sense, one can't shake that vulgar and disgusting odor that emanates from our state government. It is long past time for progressive Republicanism that secures the moral high ground and leads the way forward for everyone. Government can be small, efficient, and progressive. Make it happen.

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