It’s business as usual in the North Carolina Senate. Wednesday, the Senate Finance committee very summarily gave the nod to two bills that raise costs for North Carolina workers and keep businesses paying disproportionate taxes due to excessive subsidies.
SB 1210, a bill sponsored by Sen. Hoyle (D – Gaston), which doubles the cost of license fees for Athletic Trainers, was given a favorable reading by the committee with very little protest or questions by its members. This bill, originally covered in an earlier blog post, would raise the cost of athletic trainer fees to $200, raise annually required license renewals to $75, and cause the reinstatement of a lapsed license to cost $100. The stated reason for the requested raise in fees is due to lost revenues from a drop in the number of licensees. That is, instead of scaling down the costs of the North Carolina Board of Athletic Trainer Examiners so as not to encumber the decreasing number of athletic trainers, the senate proposes to increase fees on those of this vocation. Perhaps they will move to raise costs again when these whopping fees begin to encourage more North Carolinians to abandon the profession.
SB 1215, a bill sponsored by Sen. Clark Jenkins (D – Edgecombe), allows subsidies on many industries to continue in North Carolina, thus causing the bulk of taxation to fall disproportionately on other industries. Subsidies allow the state government to play god with North Carolina’s economy, favoring some businesses and forsaking others. This is harmful to the economy because it stifles investment by companies that do not fall through the tax loopholes and causes unsubsidized industries to pick up the slack. This bill sets distant sunsets for subsidies on industries like professional Motorsports teams, Bioprocessing, and Aircraft manufacturing. Instead of lowering the sales and use tax across the entire state and letting the market make the most efficient investment choices, the senate feels that they know better what will bring investment to North Carolina. Lowering overall taxes doesn’t seem to be one of their priorities. This bill was also given a favorable reading, and similarly was lacking in democratic deliberation.