Under the Dome

Gov. Pat McCrory blasts sales tax, religious freedom bills

Gov. Pat McCrory speaks in Charlotte at the State of Center City event at the Luski-Gorelick Center for Philanthropy on North Tryon Street.
Gov. Pat McCrory speaks in Charlotte at the State of Center City event at the Luski-Gorelick Center for Philanthropy on North Tryon Street. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory on Monday called a GOP proposal to redistribute sales tax revenues “class warfare” that would raise taxes on “millions of people in North Carolina.”

And the governor said another Republican bill designed to protect religious freedom “makes no sense.”

“What is the problem they’re trying to solve?” McCrory said during a radio interview. “I haven’t seen it at this point in time.”

McCrory’s comments on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins again put him at odds with General Assembly Republicans.

GOP Sen. Harry Brown of Onslow County has introduced a bill that would shift sales tax revenue from urban to rural counties. Though estimates differ, city of Charlotte officials have said it could cost the city $30 million.

Brown has defended his proposal, saying it would address the problem of “two North Carolinas – one that is booming and one that is busting.”

“I disagree with this type of class warfare,” McCrory said. “…It’s almost John Edwards-type language being used by my own party.”

McCrory compared the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” whose sponsors include two Charlotte lawmakers, to the effort to allow transgender persons to use the bathroom of their choice. Both are not needed, he said.

McCrory also said he opposes a Senate-passed bill to give magistrates the right not to perform same-sex marriages if they say that violates their religious beliefs.

“I don’t think you should have an exemption when you took an oath to uphold … the constitution of North Carolina,” he said.

Morrill: 704-358-5059

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