Earlier today, Sen. Harry Brown held a press conference touting support for his sales tax redistribution plan. So far, the plan has met with little fanfare in the State House, with one member even denouncing it as “Marxism.” Gentler legislators might refer to it as a “Robin Hood” plan, taking from the rich counties and giving to the poor ones.

At the press conference, Brown brought in a number of leaders in rural counties. It’s no surprise why they’re for the plan: it would help them immensely, at no cost to them. On the other side (and obviously not present at the press conference) are those who represent the interests of urban counties. They increasingly control the fate of North Carolina’s policies and they hate the plan.

Sure, rural counties need help, they acknowledge. But the General Assembly shouldn’t be killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Economic prosperity for urban counties benefits everyone, and instead the legislature should craft a plan that helps rural counties while not hindering the progress made in urban ones. That is, of course, easier said than done. Another thing the Senate wants to straighten out – making sure Wake and Mecklenburg, which are 20% of the state’s population, stop getting 86% of the state’s incentive funds.

What’s going to happen to the bill? The House, obviously, is not enthusiastic about it. There would probably have to be substantial modifications to get them to swallow it. Governor McCrory has made vague comments about a potential veto threat. Still, it wouldn’t be extraordinary if this plan becomes law, in some form. In the meantime, expect the debate over the plan and its effects on the state to continue.

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