Archive for May, 2016

AND NOW THE ACCOLADES

Members of the General Assembly this week took time to compliment the Hosiery and Textiles Governmental Affairs Council on the presentations at last week’s Legislative Breakfast. “It’s interesting to hear about textiles being made in North Carolina that we will never see,” said Rep. Jay Adams, referring to high-tech fabrics being produced for military agencies. “ I was surprised by the extent of innovation in textile companies,” commented Rep. Jeffrey Elmore of Wilkes County. Joint undertakings by the Textile Technology Center and the Manufacturing Solutions Center interested several lawmakers.

A WIN FOR MANUFACTURERS

An excise tax on manufacturing equipment was eliminated on the revenue package approved by the House Finance Committee. The committee also raised the zero level for income tax to $17,500 for families of three. This would be phased in over a three year period. Now families earning less than $15,500 are exempt from state income taxes. Currently, mills purchasing production equipment pay 2 per cent excise tax per machine with a cap of $80. Elimination of this tax be especially helpful to start-ups, the HTGAC has argued in the Legislature.

BUDGET JOURNEY BEGINS

Two House Committees this week debated and then approved a budget draft that goes to the full floor of the Chamber next week. The document will move over to the State Senate which will insert its own priorities. The budget then will go to a conference committee which could report out 2016-17 spending plan by mid-June.

The House proposes a 10 percent increase for teachers pay. But not all teachers would get the 10 percent. Teachers nearing retirement would get less plus a one-time bonus. The starting pay for teachers would remain at $35,000. Those professionals in their career for six years or more would get more significant increases. State employees would get an average pay increase of 2 percent. The House and Senate have agreed on a spending cap: $22.6 billion. This does not include federal funds for Medicaid and educational initiatives.