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In Case You Missed It: News of Interest from Around North Carolina (week ending December 18, 2015)

NC lawmakers to take on long-standing ‘tier’ system for state aid—News & Observer

“North Carolina’s long-used system for rating the economic need of individual counties is often blind to reality and should be repealed, according to a new report that won lawmakers’ interest on Monday. The current “tier system” ranks each county as a distressed 1, or an economically average 2, or an affluent 3 for the purposes of allocating public aid. The new report said that system is an unfair blanket approach that misses downtrodden areas within otherwise well-to-do counties and hasn’t resulted in a meaningful flow of grants or credits to communities most in need. Legislation to void the system is in the works.”

N.C. Research Triangle might get major tax relief under budget dealMcClatchy

“A proposed Affordable Care Act tax freeze affecting nearly 100 North Carolina manufacturers would keep millions of dollars in the state over the next two years if Congress passes this week’s negotiated budget deal. Some in Congress have had an eye on axing the ACA’s medical device manufacturing tax since it went into effect with other mandates and taxes on Jan. 1, 2013. The Congressional Budget Office estimates a repeal of the tax would cost the federal government more than $24 billion over the next decade in revenue, adding to the national deficit.”

Population Growth in the Carolinas – Carolina Demography

“North and South Carolina have grown significantly faster than the nation since 2000, and their growth is projected to continue. This population growth has not occurred evenly across the counties, however, and the coming decade will likely show sharpening distinctions in population growth patterns… Virtually all (99%) of the state’s growth is projected to occur in counties that belong to either metropolitan or micropolitan areas. Examining Combined Statistical Areas (CSAs) suggests that two-thirds of North Carolina’s population growth will occur in either the broader Charlotte region (33% of state growth) or the Triangle region (34%).”

Report: Charlotte one of two metros with declining small-business activity – Charlotte Business Journal

“Charlotte is one of just two large metro areas that saw a decline in small-business activity this year, according to a new report by the Kauffman Foundation. Data in the 2015 Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship report showed the number of business owners across the Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill region dropped to 5.6%, which is the lowest level since 2008. Out of the nation's 40 largest metropolitan areas, the Queen City's Main Street activity fell four spots this year to land at No. 30… The top five metros are New York City; Boston; Providence, R.I.; San Francisco; and Portland, Ore., all which have over 1,100 small businesses per 100,000 people.”

Why Virginia's governor wants to emulate North Carolina – Triangle Business Journal

“When it comes to corporate tax rates, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe doesn’t look to Maryland or Washington, D.C. — he instead holds his state up to North Carolina. McAullife says his proposal to lower Virginia’s corporate tax rate in 2017 to 5.75 percent from 6 percent was a direct response to North Carolina’s effort to lower its corporate tax rate from 6.9 percent in 2013 to 6 percent in 2014 and then to 5 percent in 2015. North Carolina is again lowering its corporate tax rate on Jan. 1, 2016, to 4 percent. McAuliffe said pushing Virginia’s tax rate below 6 percent is an important psychological move to attract business to the state. The Tax Foundation's 2016 State Business Tax Climate Index ranked Virginia No. 30 for its overall tax environment, with North Carolina coming in at No. 15. Maryland ranked No. 41 and the District came in at No. 42. Virginia ranked No. 6 for corporate taxes, just ahead of North Carolina’s No. 7. The study did not take into account North Carolina’s planned 2016 corporate tax rate.”
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