Raleigh, N.C. — The state House voted a second time Monday night to approve its tax reform package, sending the bill to the state Senate.
Lawmakers first approved the bill on Friday, but the state constitution requires bills changing how revenue is raised to be heard and voted on two separate days.
There is widespread agreement that North Carolina needs to rework its badly antiquated tax code, first drafted in the 1930s and only tinkered with ever since. However, different groups differ on how best to accomplish that reform.
"It's going in completely the wrong direction," Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, said of the bill. This proposal before you now moves us out of the 20th century and into the 19th."
But proponents of the measure, which lowers income taxes in favor of applying sales tax to more services, say that it will help spark economic growth.
"This bill sends a clear, clear message, not only to businesses in North Carolina, but across the nation and across the globe, that we value the businesses that are already here and we welcome businesses to relocate here," said Rep. John Szoka, R-Cumberland.
It's unclear what will happen next. The Senate has its own competing tax reform proposals, and lawmakers will be unable to pass a state budget until they agree on the basic outlines of a tax package, or at least how much money a new tax system would raise.