From the Insider 7-3-2014

Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, along with other current GOP lawmakers, were co-sponsors of 1997 legislation that created the state's historic preservation tax credit program, the same program that today's Republicans are considering allowing to expire at the end of the year. For the past two sessions, Rucho has railed against tax credits and incentives in favor of lower tax rates for all businesses. He now supports allowing the historic preservation program to sunset and said Wednesday that he believed that's what will happen.

Rucho said repealing tax credits and exemptions is part of the change in the way the state does business. The state, he said, couldn't continue down the path of the past couple of decades, during which it has seen a decline in personal income and increases in poverty, and, until recently, unemployment. "We made a decision to move in another direction, and it's proven to be valuable as far as economic growth and job production," Rucho said. "We knew what didn't work." Asked about his co-sponsorship of the 1997 legislation creating the historic preservation tax credit program, Rucho said he didn't remember being a sponsor but that he "could have signed onto it."

The bill sponsor was the late Republican Sen. Hamilton Horton of Forsyth County, who pushed it through a Senate controlled by Democrats. Republican co-sponsors included current Sens. Austin Allran and Fletcher Hartsell and former Sen. John Blust, who is now in the House. Then-Sen. Bev Perdue, a Democrat, also signed on. A modified historic preservation tax program is among many items in dispute between the House and Senate as budget negotiations continue. The program is included in the House budget, but not the Senate's. (THE INSIDER, 7/03/14).

AuthorDavid Crawford