Today's House Finance Committee is scheduled to debate two recent bills featured as Civitas Institute Bad Bills of the Week.
One of the bills is HB 117 – the NC Competes Act. This bill would expand the state's Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) program, extend tax refunds for American Airlines' purchase of fuel, and expand tax breaks for datacenters.
The other bill is SB 20 – the bill earlier approved by the Senate that would drop the gas tax in the immediate short term, but result in a billion dollar tax hike over the next four years.
As reported by The Insider – a subscription based news service – however, the House Finance Committee is expected to alter the gas tax bill to keep the gas tax floor significantly lower than the Senate-approved bill, while not lowering the tax as much in the near term.
Stay tuned to track the progress of these bills.
UPDATE: The House Finance Committee changed the gas tax bill so that the tax would fall from its current 37.5 cents per gallon to 36 cents per gallon until the end of this calendar year. At that point, the tax would return to its previous calculation formula. Legislators claimed this would be a temporary measure to encourage a permanent solution before the end of the year. This new measure passed out of committee.
The "NC Competes Act" also passed committee, by a vote of 30-9. Both bills are expected to be debated in the House Appropriations committee this afternoon.