HALLOWEEN FOR BUDGET?

Paul Fogleman,

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.

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