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McCrory tells NC execs he's pushing tax changes

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm •  Published: January 2, 2013

All three states are among the 23 in which the governor and both chambers of the legislature are dominated by the same political party, allowing lawmakers in those states to push through long-discussed changes, he said. But Lindholm said he expects the reality of full political control in North Carolina and the two other states to lead to gradual tax changes and not sudden ones. That's because businesses, which plan years in advance, react badly to surprises and because the dominant political parties know they'll get responsibility for changes that turn out badly as well as successes, he said.

"Whatever gets passed, you now own it," Lindholm said. "They can no longer blame others for the problems that beset their state."

McCrory, a Republican, said his biggest priorities after taking office include deciding whether the state should create its own online marketplace for health insurance policies or leave it to the federal government, whether to expand Medicaid to cover the medical costs of more poor people, and how to repay the $2.8 billion the state borrowed from Washington to keep unemployment insurance flowing.

McCrory said he would push quickly for greater drilling for natural gas both off the state's coast and within underground shale rock formations using a controversial technology called fracking. He said he wants to reshape the state's entire education system from pre-kindergarten to community colleges and public universities to focus on training workers that companies want to hire, and to do it with no major funding increase.

"There's no new money that's going to fall out of the sky," he said.

Allan Freyer, a policy analyst with the liberal-leaning North Carolina Budget & Tax Center, said he agreed with McCrory that the state's tax code and workforce training need updating, but doing that will be difficult. The state's personal and corporate income taxes provide more than half of state government revenues, but companies place a lower priority on them in location decisions than factors like road and air connections and workforce quality, Freyer said.

Sharply cutting taxes "will likely lead to significant spending cuts to the investments that matter and will undermine the ability to state compete economically," he said.


Emery Dalesio can be reached at