Last week, Governor Cooper delivered his State of the State Address. The Governor kicked off his State of State Address by thanking everyone from frontline workers, educators, and the members of the General Assembly who had a huge role during the pandemic. Gov. Cooper stressed the need to strengthen public schools for all children, eliminate the gaps in high speed internet access, and increased work wages for North Carolinians. He acknowledged the collaborative work of North Carolina businesses that joined forces to assist with PPE, such as small businesses who created masks and medical supplies.
Gov. Cooper also praised Apple for the investment in North Carolina over the next 10 years. Apple plans to invest $1 billion, including $552 million to establish a campus in RTP where it will create 3,000 jobs that would pay an average $187,000. Also a $448 million data center investment in Catawba County. Lastly, Gov. Cooper discussed the work his administration has done since he became governor and during the pandemic. He noted that under his administration, the state approved $700 million in Build NC Bonds to support road construction and repairs and the HOPE Program (Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions) was created to assist North Carolinians during the pandemic.
Also last week, Governor Cooper signed House Bill 279: COVID-19 Related Tax Changes/UI Technical Corrections, which clarifies that federal stimulus payments received as COVID-19 relief payments are not considered income for purposes of determining eligibility for property tax exemptions. The bill had previously passed both the House and the Senate with unanimous support. Another notable piece of tax focused legislation passed through the General Assembly last week in Senate Bill 322: 2021 Revenue Law Changes. The bill exempts COVID-19 relief payments from the income determination for the property tax homestead exclusion and makes various other tax changes. The Senate Finance Committee approved the following tax law changes:
- Reduction in the cap on the federal itemized deductions for state and local taxes (SALT)
- Creation of a separate State net operating loss calculation for individual income taxes.
- Graduation of penalties for late payment of taxes.
- Extension of the sunset for qualifies rehabilitation expenditures for eligible railroad stations.
The bill will now move to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further review.
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