Under the Dome

Dome: Free-market group ready to promote tax overhaul – if there is one

afrank@nando.comJuly 14, 2013 

So, this past weekend House and Senate bigwigs were supposedly wrapping up a compromise tax overhaul plan, or at least trying to, so they can move on to the budget and go home.

Americans for Prosperity is urging them to “continue to work towards bold tax relief and reform,” and promising that if they do AFP is ready to help by encouraging business activity in the state. Dallas Woodhouse, state director for AFP, says the organization has at the ready a national and international marketing strategy aimed at letting businesses know how great the new tax overhaul will be in North Carolina.

Hard to tell if that’s a promise or a threat in case things don’t work out.

Eminent-domain limit proposed

A proposed North Carolina constitutional amendment would ask voters in the 2014 election to restrict eminent domain. The bill carrying the amendment passed the House on Wednesday in a 103-10 vote.

Originally House Bill 8, the legislation stopped moving after landing in a committee in April. Its contents were added to a Senate boating safety bill so it would have a chance of becoming law this session. Rep. Chuck McGrady, a Hendersonville Republican and the House bill’s sponsor, said the text hadn’t changed substantially. Rep. Paul Stam, an Apex Republican, added an amendment updating the technology referenced. The amendment has passed the House before but stalled in the Senate, and could do so again. McGrady’s bill would amend the North Carolina constitution to reject the U.S. Supreme Court Kelo decision, which sanctioned land seizure for private gain. The proposed provision would allow eminent domain only for public use.

Service planned for Zeb Alley

Editor's Note: Story has been edited to change the day of the Waynesville service to Sunday.

A celebration of life will be held for lobbyist Zeb Alley on Tuesday evening.

The event for Alley, who died on Thursday, will be held at the NC State University Varsity Club at Hillsborough Street at 6 p.m. Alley, a former legislator, will be laid to rest next Sunday in Waynesville.

Pundits: Wisconsin comparison good

In a new op-ed, Grover Norquist and Patrick Gleason at Americans for Tax Reform suggest comparisons between the uprising in North Carolina and those two years ago in Wisconsin is a good thing for Republicans.

“North Carolina Republicans should only hope their situation plays out similarly to what transpired in the Badger State. Since (Wisconsin Gov. Scott) Walker signed these reforms, the state’s unemployment rate has dropped from 7.6 percent to 7 percent – below the national average. Walker has taken the $3.6 billion deficit that his Democratic predecessor left him and turned it into a $419 million surplus – thanks in no small part to the reforms that labor unions, MSNBC and liberal college students decried.

“Two years later, it is clear that not only were Walker’s reforms good policy, they were good politics. Walker’s approval rating was at 43 percent by the time he signed the bill. But by May of this year, Walker’s approvals had risen to 51 percent, according to a Marquette University Poll. ... Liberal pundits will try to portray what is happening in North Carolina as dysfunction. But it is the opposite.”

Staff writers Annalise Frank

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