GOP maneuvers to avoid vote on tax loophole for state’s wealthiest

Effort to limit loophole for wealthiest halted

lbonner@newsobserver.comJune 13, 2012 

Senate Republicans successfully maneuvered during the budget debate to avoid a vote limiting a new tax break going to some of the state’s wealthiest residents.

Senate Democrats wanted the Senate to limit a $3,500 tax break now going to lawyers, doctors and business owners of all sizes.

The News & Observer has reported that a tax break touted for small businesses is unlimited and will go to 460,000 business owners and partners. It will cost the state $336 million next year.

Sen. Clark Jenkins, a Tarboro Democrat, said limiting the tax break to businesses with taxable income of $100,000 or less would save $141 million. He proposed spending $130 million of that on public schools and using $11 million for eugenics victim compensation.

Sen. Jim Davis, a Franklin Republican, immediately replaced Jenkins’ amendment with an unrelated bill on CPAs, which prevented a vote on the tax break.

It didn’t stop debate, though.

“Your amendment is to keep people from having to show where they stand on repealing this tax break,” said Sen. Dan Blue, a Raleigh Democrat.

Blue, a lawyer, said he would give up his $3,500 if it would help public schools.

“There are many, many people in North Carolina who agree we ought to pay our fair share to fund education,” he said.

Sen. Bob Rucho, a Mecklenburg Republican and an architect of the tax plan, told Blue he could send his money back to the state if he wanted.

Bonner: 919-829-4821

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