Group questions tax incentive - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

Group questions tax incentive

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People protest State Senator Thom Goolsby's support of a tax incentive for businesses. People protest State Senator Thom Goolsby's support of a tax incentive for businesses.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Progress North Carolina Action has a new reason for rallying against state lawmakers this week. More than a dozen people gathered in downtown Wilmington Monday to speak out against State Senator Thom Goolsby's support of a tax incentive plan that passed in the short session this year.

Chants of 'Shame on Goolsby' were backed with a belief that the $3,500 tax credit for business owners is more of a loophole for lawyers, lobbyists and millionaires. The money that would be collected as a state tax is returned to business owners earning at least $50,000. Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress NC Action, said the incentive is available to all private business owners, including Goolsby (R - New Hanover).

"Voters want accountability," he said. "They don't want blind, reckless ideology and this kind of a tax credit is clearly an example of blind, reckless ideology."

The organization has constructed websites for individual lawmakers like Goolsby to suggest what the money could have bought for education purposes.

Goolsby's support for the plan did not waver Monday. He cited statistics from the Fiscal Research Division at the North Carolina General Assembly, saying only 2% of the money estimated for the tax credit would benefit companies earning $1 million or more. Businesses earning $100,000 or less are expected to be 57% of the beneficiaries of the incentive.

"As a small business person, if you don't like that, I don't understand who you are." said Goolsby.

Goolsby added that he, like any other private business owner, is eligible for the credit. He said he has no plans to sign any commitment to not accept the money.

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