senate_updateRALEIGH — The state Senate has released what it is calling a compromised state incentive proposal.

Senators say they believe the proposal answers requests made by both Gov. Pat McCrory to help recruit business and also takes into consideration some of the ideas the House is looking for.

The issue of incentives and taxes has been one of the most controversial  and difficult issues lawmakers have been dealing with this session. On Wednesday, senators announced their first step in moving the compromise process forward when they agreed to remove the issue from the state budget proposal and allow it to be negotiated separately.

On Thursday, they unveiled a new proposal that they are calling a compromise in hopes of helping to finalize this fight.

Provisions:

• Adds money to the governor’s job recruitment fund, known as J-DIG.
• Guarantees J-DIG for three years.
• Extends the current sales tax refund for airline fuel and expands that refund so that more airlines and therefore airports would be affected by the change.
• Includes a controversial measure that would change how sales tax is given out to counties.

The Senate has moved from an earlier position that would have made a more dramatic change,  but some legislators from larger counties still had concerns. The bill sponsor says he believes this makes things more fair for all counties.

“What will happen over time, is those counties will continue to benefit on sales tax dollars moving forward. those small counties that have very little growth or negative growth will continue to be stagnant, even after this adjustment. This is just trying to level things back out,” said Sen. Harry Brown, Majority Leader.

The proposal does represent a change from what the Senate was originally pushing for, but still has significant difference from the house proposal. Legislators say they hope helps with the negotiation process moving forward.

– Loretta Boniti