The Latest: Senate GOP gives tentative OK to more tax cuts

April 04, 2017 - 5:32 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on a North Carolina cut tax package considered by the state Senate (all times local):

5:35 p.m.

A tax plan written by Senate Republicans to reduce North Carolina state taxes another $1 billion over the next two years is making its way through the chamber with familiar arguments over who should benefit from tax cuts and surpluses.

The Senate gave tentative approval Tuesday to the tax package, which would reduce individual and corporate income tax rates further and raise standard deductions for individual filers.

Bill sponsor Sen. Tommy Tucker of Waxhaw said the measure builds on tax cuts which have occurred since 2011 at the General Assembly and should disproportionately benefit people in rural areas. Some Democrats complained the revenues could have gone to unmet needs statewide in education and infrastructure.

The vote was 35-14. Another vote is required Wednesday before the measure goes to the House.

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1:20 a.m.

Senate Republicans are ready to take their tax-cut package to the chamber floor for a vote.

The Senate scheduled debate Tuesday on a measure that would reduce tax revenues for the state by more than $1 billion through mid-2019.

Most taxpayer savings would occur by reducing personal income tax rates and increasing the amounts of wage-earner income not subject to income taxes. The corporate rate — already the lowest in the nation among states with such a tax — would fall from 3 percent to 2.5 percent.

The state is on track for a revenue surplus this year, and bill sponsors say taxpayers should benefit from that. Democrats argue tax cuts going back to 2013 already keep the state from adequately funding public schools and other needs.

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