Most North Carolina voters say they don't like the estate tax, according to a new poll.
The state levies a tax of up to 16 percent on assets above $5 million including businesses, homes and other assets when a person dies. That is in addition to the 35 percent federal estate tax.
Sixty-six percent said they oppose the estate tax, and 25 percent said they support the tax, according to a new poll conducted for The Civitas Institute, a Raleigh-based conservative advocacy group.
The spin: "Voters across North Carolina widely recognize the inherent immorality of turning revenue department officials into grave robbers," said Brian Balfour, a policy analyst for Civitas. "Hopefully, the state lawmakers will recognize the near-universal opposition to the state death tax and act to end this gruesome practice."
The poll of 600 likely 2012 North Carolina voters was conducted Oct. 17-18 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Goolsby doesn't appear in movie credits
Everyone wants a piece of the news when it's good. After Gov. Bev Perdue announced the "Iron Man 3" movie deal at Wilmington's EUE/Screen Gems Studios last week, state Sen. Thom Goolsby sent out a news release praising it for the jobs the project will create, and claiming he had worked on making it happen for months.
Say what? A spokesman for the governor says Goolsby, a Wilmington Republican, was never part of the negotiations. In fact, spokesman Mark Johnson says, Goolsby's only contact with the administration on economic development has been his refusal to support the Project Soccer tire plant project, which ended up in South Carolina.
Jordan Kerner, dean of the UNC-School of the Arts film school who has been a force behind increasing incentives to lure filmmakers, tells Dome the key players in negotiations were the governor's office, state film office director Aaron Syrett, Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo and state Rep. Danny McComas, a Wilmington Republican.
Wilmington's WECT.com reported Goolsby responded he didn't want to get into "a back and forth" over who did what.
Berger aide landsa job at law firm
Tommy Sevier, the deputy chief of staff for policy for Senate leader Phil Berger, has gone to work as state public affairs director for the law firm of Moore & Van Allen.
Before working for Berger, Sevier worked as a lobbyist for the N.C. Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers. He had also worked nine years on Capitol Hill, including six years for U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, where he served as deputy chief of staff.
Cody Hand, who was counsel to the Senate Appropriations Committee, is Sevier's replacement on the Berger team.
Butterfield aide gets White House gig
Tonya Williams, chief of staff for Democratic U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, is moving to the White House.
Williams will take a role in the West Wing as legislative director for Vice President Joe Biden.
The UNC-Chapel Hill graduate is a familiar face in Raleigh. She served as counsel to N.C. Senate President Marc Basnight for five years before she went to work for Glaxo Smith Kline in 2007.
Hagan says she supported advance of black judges
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan's office said she has recommended black candidates for appointment to federal judgeships. The state NAACP wrote an open letter to Hagan and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr a few days ago, decrying the lack of African-Americans serving as District Court judges in the state.
"With only one African American federal District Court judge presently seated, North Carolina has the least diverse bench of all states in the South," wrote the Rev. William Barber, state NAACP president.
Hagan's communications director sent this response: "Senator Hagan recommended, and the President then nominated and appointed, two outstanding individuals - one African-American and one Hispanic-American - to the two vacancies on the critically important U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Senator Hagan also has recommended three highly-qualified potential nominees, two of whom are African-American, for the pending vacancy on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina."
Staff writers Rob Christensen, Craig Jarvis, John Frank and Lynn Bonner
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