Archive for July, 2015

HALLOWEEN FOR BUDGET?

That’s a scary thought. But one House budget chair this week predicted a late October date for approval of a state budget, with lots of tricks and not as many treats. A meeting last Wednesday with the the House Subcommittee Committee on appropriations for the Department of Economic and Natural Resources confirmed the deep divisions between senators and representatives on taxes and spending.

Commerce Secretary John Skavola was almost emotional when he described the senate cuts to advertising (the state ranks 32nd) and recruiting incentives. A similar story came from the spokesman for recreational fisheries which is a hugh tourist draw for eastern North Carolina. Comments from House committee members suggested tough negotiations with senate budget writers lie ahead.

MANUFACTURING TAX

The Senate budget raises the privilege tax on manufacturing machines from $80 to $500 per machine. This sharp increase, a senator explained, raises $160 million to offset the elimination of the franchise tax. The HTGAC takes the position that the higher tax hits entrepreneurs who are driving new business start-ups. We are working with leaders in both chambers to eliminate—or at least dramatically reduce—this increase. You can help us. Contact your local legislators to emphasize the importance of a rollback to your business.

THE NEGOTIATORS

House Speaker Tim Moore named 82 of the 120 House members as conferees to go head-to-head with Senators when meetings finally start. Sitting on the sidelines are House members who are freshmen or who got crossed up with the leadership. Heading up the House team is Rep. Nelson Dollar, the senior Appropriation chairman. Almost all committee chairs are among the House conferees.

WE WANT YOUR THOUGHTS

The Hosiery and Textiles Governmental Affairs Council is considering its role for the industries it serves. Legislative lobbying and support for our research centers are top priorities. But would the members benefit from lunch or dinner meetings with programs dealing with markets, labor issues, or government? If you have recommendations, please contact us. Also we would like to hear from those who are interested in serving on the HTGAC board.

NEW YEAR AND NO BUDGET

July 1 and a new budget year for North Carolina government arrived with no new budget. The state Senate sent back to the House a revised revenue and spending plan so radically different that it will be mid-August –if then – when state agencies know what their appropriations will be. Watching the negotiations is Gov. Pat McCrory who holds a veto pen. He has made it clear he is opposed to many provisions in the Senate plan, including the redistribution of sales taxes.

Also in limbo are the public schools administrations. The Senate would lay off over 5,000 teacher assistants and provide more money for additional teachers to reduce classroom size in kindergarten through third grade. The Senate would phase in the single-factor corporate tax formula over a three-year period, but would lower the corporate rate to 3.5 percent. To make up lost revenue, machinery tax would be increased from $80 to $500.

House members are critical of the Senate approach to new taxes, including the sales tax on veterinary services, lawn care, and advertising, to name a few. House Senior Finance Chairman Jason Saine of Lincolnton observed: “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then the Senate would tax it.”

GREEN AND GREENER

The Poole Company is rolling out a new textiles product which is reported to biodegrade at least 12 times faster than others on the market. Named Ecosure Bioblast@the household wipes are made from recycled PET bottles. The wipes are made with the first tested and proven fiber to accelerate degradation in an oxygen-deficient environment (landfill), Poole insists.

Ecoslure Bioblast is a polymer-based nonwoven fiber, specifically designed to help break down under anaerobic conditions. Over a one-year period, the biodegradation was 72.5 percent, Poole says.

MSC ECONOMIC IMPACT

NIST, the federal agency that funds the Industrial Expansion Partnership administered by N.C. State University, reported the services of the Manufacturing Solutions Center had an $18.4 million impact on businesses it served during the first quarter of this year.

Companies served by the MSC added 140 jobs and retained an additional 20 as a result of MSC training and research and development programs. Those companies reported to NIST that new products or processes added $4.77 million . Total new investments, including plant equipment, workforce practices and other areas came to $6,987,000.

Surveys of client companies by NIST are made quarterly.