Under the Dome

Bipartisan NC House group files another economic development bill

Restorations of the Clayton Spinning Mill have stalled due to the economic slump. A new economic development proposal in the N.C. House includes the historic preservation tax credit, which helps fund restoration projects.
Restorations of the Clayton Spinning Mill have stalled due to the economic slump. A new economic development proposal in the N.C. House includes the historic preservation tax credit, which helps fund restoration projects. tlong@newsobserver.com

With the N.C. House’s first economic development proposal parked in the Senate, House Democrats and Republicans teamed up to file a second bill Thursday.

House Bill 920 includes many of the same jobs incentives as the bill the House approved last month: Doubling the cap on the Job Development Investment Grant Program, extending tax breaks for jet fuel and technology data centers, and $20 million for infrastructure grants.

But the new bill adds a number of other provisions:

▪ Restoring the historic preservation tax credit program, which has already passed the House in a separate bill. It has stalled in the Senate, where Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca says it’s effectively dead.

▪ Expanding a grant program for film productions, increasing the cap from $10 million to $60 million a year. The bill would also lower the amount of spending required for a film grant to make more projects eligible.

▪ Tax credits for cigarette exports, state port fees, motorsports and research and development – several of which are included in Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget

The bill is sponsored by the House Finance Chairman, Republican Jason Saine, along with Republican Rep. Charles Jeter and Democratic Reps. Susi Hamilton and Rodney Moore.

Hamilton had scheduled a news conference to discuss the bill Thursday afternoon but later cancelled it. Asked last month why the House plans to run another economic development bill, Saine’s response was, “I say, why not? We’ve sent over one bill that they don’t want to take a look at.”

It’s unclear whether the new legislation will fare better in the Senate than the previous proposal, House Bill 117. Senate Republicans have proposed their own economic development legislation that includes corporate income tax cuts and changes to the JDIG incentive program – but no tax credit programs.

Some Senate Republicans say the proposed tax credit programs would undo the GOP tax reform efforts, which sought to lower overall tax rates by eliminating a number of credits and deductions.

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