RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Gov. Pat McCrory and Republican legislative leaders have completed a tax deal after several weeks of negotiations.
McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger made the announcement Monday in the House chamber of the old Capitol building.
The package still will have to be voted on by the full House and Senate before it can go to McCrory's desk for his signature. Republicans have comfortable margins in each chamber, so passage is likely.
The bill will reduce both individual and corporate income tax rates.
Chances for a deal looked uncertain two weeks ago when the Senate passed another version of a tax proposal, but negotiations picked up last week.
Reaction is mixed to the tax reform deal reached by the Governor and the General Assembly, and there are still questions about the revenue model the plan is based on.
Below is the release on the tax plan from the Office of the Governor of North Carolina:
Governor Pat McCrory, Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) announced late this afternoon they have reached a historic agreement on tax reform.
North Carolina has the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the country and needs tax reform to compete with neighboring states for job creation.
“All of us were elected to change the status quo here in Raleigh and address problems head on,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “One of the biggest challenges we faced coming into office was working to help create jobs in the existing environment. This tax reform plan is a major step in restoring confidence in the economy so that employers start hiring again, and it will help us continue to attract new employers. Just as important, this tax reform will allow North Carolinians to put more money in their pocketbooks so that they can spend and invest in North Carolina.”
The tax reform agreement provides fiscally-responsible tax relief to all North Carolinians. It will lower income tax rates for all taxpayers to 5.8% in 2014, allowing North Carolina families to keep more of their hard-earned dollars. The corporate tax will be reduced to 6.0% in 2014 to make North Carolina more attractive to job-creators.
“Reforming a state’s tax code is no easy task in the face of a barrage of special interests fighting to preserve the special treatment they receive at the expense of all taxpayers,” said Senator Phil Berger. “We’ve seen several other states – Kansas, Louisiana and Nebraska – give it their best shot but miss the mark. I’m proud of what we’re achieving here in North Carolina – we are truly a positive model for the rest of the nation.”
The tax reform proposal is fiscally responsible and provides reasonable revenue growth every year to meet the state’s budget needs. Since tax reform is expected to grow the state’s economy and bolster the tax base, further rate reductions could be triggered by revenue growth in 2016 and 2017. However, if for whatever reasons the tax revenue does not grow, the further reductions will not be triggered, ensuring that state revenue is preserved for public services.
“This plan will provide tax relief for working families throughout North Carolina and will enable businesses to create jobs for our citizens,” said Speaker Thom Tillis. “Our state will become more competitive because of this tax reform legislation, and North Carolinians will have more dollars in their pockets. I congratulate everyone who had a role in this historic agreement, especially Representatives David Lewis and Julia Howard, who led this effort in the House.”
“This plan reducing both personal and corporate income taxes combined with the General Assembly’s successful efforts last session to repeal the temporary sales tax accomplishes broad based tax relief that is unmatched in North Carolina’s history,” said Governor McCrory. “No other state has accomplished this level of tax reform this year and I would like to commend Speaker Tillis and Senator Berger for their hard work and congratulate them on reaching this agreement.”
Tax Reform Proposal Highlights
Personal Income Tax:
Reduces and simplifies the 3-tiered state personal income tax from the current maximum rate of 7.75% and minimum rate of 6% to 5.8% in 2014 and 5.75% in 2015.
Increases the standard deduction for all taxpayers, applied to the:
;First $15,000 of income for those married filing jointly
First $12,000 of income for heads of household
First $7,500 of income for single filers;
Retains the state child tax credit and increases it for families making less than $40,000;
Offers a $20,000 combined maximum deduction for mortgage interest and property taxes;
Makes charitable contributions fully deductible;
Protects all Social Security income from state taxes.
Corporate Income Tax:
Reduces the corporate income tax from 6.9% to 6% in 2014 and then to 5% in 2015 a 29% rate reduction.
If the state meets revenue targets (i.e. if tax revenue grows due to a growing economy), the corporate income tax will drop to 4% in 2016 and 3% in 2017.
Caps the state gas tax;
Eliminates North Carolina’s death tax;
Preserves the sales tax refund for nonprofits.