RALEIGH — A landmark tax bill that Republicans portray as a boon for everybody but Democrats contend would mostly help the rich won preliminary approval in the state House on Friday following a testy 90-minute debate.
House members voted 72-32 in favor of the bill, setting the stage for it to be considered for the final time by the full body Monday evening. Although passage by the House is now likely, the Senate is contemplating a much more ambitious overhaul of the state tax code.
Democrats on Friday offered up a series of amendments designed to up the tax ante for the wealthy while giving the poor and middle class a bigger break, but they were rejected by the Republican majority.
The bill would set the personal income tax rate which currently ranges from 6 percent to 7.75 percent, based on income at a flat 5.9 percent.
The measure also would impose the state sales tax on dozens of services that are currently exempted and raise the sales tax on electricity bills.
In order to reduce the impact of the expanded sales tax on low- and middle-income families, the standard deduction would double to $12,000 for a married couple filing jointly, or $6,000 for an individual. In addition, the child tax credit for families making less than $100,000 a year would more than double to $250.