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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A spokesman for North Carolina's House leader says Republicans have settled a dispute in the party's tax plan that prompted a halt in debate.
Speaker Thom Tillis' spokesman said Wednesday that the party is returning to the original version of the bill that limited deductions for mortgage interest and charitable giving to $25,000. An amendment approved in a committee meeting Tuesday eliminated that cap.
The tax reform plan's lead sponsor said the amendment would require raising overall rates to make up for hundreds of millions in new costs.
The amendment wasn't added to the bill up for review in another committee Wednesday, which led lawmakers of both parties to refuse to debate.
Tillis spokesman Jordan Shaw said it isn't certain when the bill will appear next.
THIS IS AN UPDATE. AP's earlier story is below.
North Carolina House lawmakers refused Wednesday to debate the latest version of a tax reform plan because it removed an amendment that adds an estimated half billion dollars in deductions aimed at helping the housing industry.
The House Appropriations Committee voted 44-34 against adopting the bill, which was changed Tuesday to lift a $25,000 cap on deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest.
The amendment from Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, also restored an exemption for property taxes. Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett and the bill's lead sponsor, opposed the amendment, arguing it would add an estimated $525 million in costs that could require raising overall rates.
Howard, a real-estate agent, objected to hearing the bill because it removed her amendment, which was adopted with wide support by the Finance Committee.
"This is not the bill that came out of Finance (Committee)," she said.
Appropriations Committee Chairman Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, initially refused to acknowledge Howard's objections. He then declared a voice vote against Howard's objection, which prompted outrage from lawmakers. They called for an individual tally and won.
The House plan is one of three proposals aimed at lowering corporate and personal income taxes in exchange for a broader array of sales taxes.
The House plan replaces the state's multi-tiered income taxes with a flat 5.9-percent rate and reduces corporate taxes from 6.9 percent to 5.4 percent over five years. The plan also lowers sales taxes from 6.75 to 6.65 percent in most parts of state but adds services to physical personal property such as cars. By contrast, the Senate plan that is seen as a more far-reaching overhaul eventually adds more than 130 sales taxes, which are viewed by critics as disproportionately harmful to the poor.
There's wide agreement that the state's tax system is outdated, but lawmakers disagree about how to implement reform. Democrats argue the proposals, all of which come from Republicans in control of the General Assembly, benefit the rich at the expense of the poor. Republicans argue they'll help bring about a better business climate that helps everyone prosper.
The debate Tuesday drew criticism from lawmakers of both parties, who objected to holding only an hour of amendments in Finance Committee hearings. They argued the chamber should take more time before bringing the bill to the floor.
Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, said lawmakers disagree about how to proceed with Howard's amendment.
"There's a difference in one of the amendments," he said. "The (proposed committee substitute) was trying to deal with one of the amendments that would throw the budget out of balance by a half a billion (dollars)."
Rep. Mike Hager, R-Rutherford, took exception to the handling of Howard's amendment, noting it passed Tuesday with wide support.
"We have a process to go by, and the process should be that that bill should come to the floor to be voted up or down," he said. "I believe in that process."
Tillis' spokesman and other lawmakers said they're not sure yet how the bill will proceed.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Tuesday, March 11 2014 7:45 AM EDT2014-03-11 11:45:32 GMT
HAMPSTEAD, NC (WECT) – Rep. Chris Millis (R-Pender County) is the only local Republican member of the NC House not to endorse House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenberg) in his bid for U.S. Senate. TillisMore >>
Rep. Chris Millis of Pender County is the only member of the local GOP delegation in the state House not to endorse Rep. Thom Tillis in his campaign for U.S. Senate. Click on the story to see why Millis is not endorsing Tillis or any other candidate in the GOP field.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 8:10 AM EST2014-03-07 13:10:59 GMT
SWANNANOA, N.C. (AP/WECT) - State Sen. Martin Nesbitt, who this week stepped down as minority leader because of illness, has died. He was 67. Senate Democratic Caucus Director Ford Porter said NesbittMore >>
Just days after stepping down as the Senate Minority Leader in the General Assembly, state Sen. Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncombe) passed away from stomach cancer.More >>
Wednesday, March 5 2014 8:03 AM EST2014-03-05 13:03:49 GMT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina state Sen. Martin Nesbitt has stepped down as the Senate's minority leader because of a recent medical diagnosis. Sen. Dan Blue is taking his place. The Senate DemocraticMore >>
State Sen. Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncombe) has stepped down from his position of Minority Leader because of a health issue. Sen. Dan Blue (D-Wake) will be filling the role.More >>
Sunday, March 2 2014 10:02 AM EST2014-03-02 15:02:31 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A flurry of final-day filings on Friday added candidates to races for seats in Washington DC, Raleigh and southeastern North Carolina. New Hanover County Commissioner JonathanMore >>
Several last-minute filings set up primary challenges for candidates seeking office in Raleigh and Washington, DC. Nearly all Sheriffs in southeastern North Carolina will also have primary challenges in 2014.More >>
Friday, February 28 2014 12:00 AM EST2014-02-28 05:00:12 GMT
FLORENCE, SC (WECT) – Will Breazeale, the 2008 Republican nominee for North Carolina's 7th Congressional District seat, has decided not to run for the same office in 2014. In a news release sent out lateMore >>
Will Breazeale, who won the GOP nomination in the 7th Congressional District in 2008, has decided not to make another run for the office in 2014.More >>
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