RALEIGH, N.C. -- Cutting off debate after less than 30 minutes, N.C. House Republicans gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a sweeping tax cut measure that debuted less than 16 hours earlier.
The 77-38 vote came mostly along partisan lines with House Speaker Thom Tillis casting a vote in favor. The House will give the measure a final approval Wednesday.
The bulk of the debate focused on who will pay more and who will pay less, with Democrats casting it as tax cuts for the wealthy and tax increases for the poor. “This is a bill that is helpful is you are millionaire, it does not help you if you are in the middle class,” said Rep. Paul Luebke, a Durham Democrat.
Republicans pivoted to tout its economic benefits with Cary Republican Rep. Nelson Dollar calling it possibly the “jobs bill of a generation.” Combined with the GOP majority’s other actions this session, it “will lead to a strong, healthier economy in North Carolina,” he added.
The measure is a compromise between Republican legislative leaders and Gov. Pat McCrory. The House and Senate debated competing measures earlier this session and spent weeks trying to form a consensus plan.
The Senate must also sign off on the measure. It is expected to vote later this week.