Senators skeptical of House economic development bill
Top Senate leaders say they are unsure whether they'll take up an economic development measure passed by the state House last week.Posted — Updated
House Bill 117, the N.C. Competes Act, carries a number of measures favored by Gov. Pat McCrory, including changes to a program designed to lure big manufactures to the state that could issue $900 million in rebates over the next 15 years. The same bill would also expand tax breaks on electricity purchases for data centers and continues a tax break on jet fuel for airlines.
The measure passed the House 88-29, with a bipartisan mix of lawmakers on both sides of the vote.
When the bill came to the Senate on Monday night, leaders sent it to the Rules Committee. A trip to Rules can sometime be an indication that a measure is on the fast track, but for other bills, the committee is a place to languish unheard.
Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca made clear this was not a fast-track sort of assignment.
"We've had a discussion about what rank and file can accept in terms of an economic development bill, and, to say this bill pushes that limit is an understatement," said Apodaca, R-Henderson.
In particular, the program currently known as JDIG allows for rebates of payroll taxes. Another provision in the bill would give big manufacturers a particularly attractive tax break.
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