Paul Fogleman,

After a week with sessions and committee meetings going late into the night, legislators this week have few meetings on the agenda. But still important issues are looming. The House Rules Committee today was expected to send to the floor a proposed amendment to the N.C. Constitution that will cap income tax at 5.5 percent. Such an amendment would be on the ballot this November for voter approval and the Republican majority in the House feels this could be a winning issue to repel a serious Democratic challenge. Some GOP Senators are not sure and are concerned about restricting future legislators. Should the General Assembly face another economic slowdown or crisis, finding new revenue would involve new taxes on sales and services and higher or new fees. A Democratic-controlled Legislature in 2007 adopted a “temporary” half-cent increase in the state sales tax and lost the majority in the following elections. Republicans rescinded the half-cent levy but have added services such as automobile repairs, appliance installations, etc. to the tax code.

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