Warren: I wasn’t told about school construction bill

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 1, 2013

SALISBURY — N.C. Rep. Harry Warren said fellow local delegate Sen. Andrew Brock didn’t speak to him before adding Rowan County to a controversial bill that would give local commissioners control of school construction.
Warren, a Republican, said Senate Bill 236 has garnered plenty of local attention. He alone racked up more than 120 emails from Rowan residents, Warren said in his weekly newsletter.
But the Salisbury representative said Brock (R-Mocksville) tacked Rowan County onto the bill — which, if approved, would affect only nine counties — without much discussion.
“Senator Brock did not consult with me as to whether or not I wanted Rowan County included. He did not advise me that he was adding Rowan County to the bill,” Warren wrote. “I do not know if he asked Rep. Carl Ford or whether he consulted with the county commissioners of any of the three counties involved, or if he made the decision entirely on his own.”
Brock included all three counties in his district — Rowan, Iredell and Davie — because, as he has told the Post previously, members of his delegation were requesting it. Iredell has since asked and subsequently been removed from the bill.
Three Rowan County commissioners said they intend to vote to pick up the local option to take control of school buildings if the bill passes.
The bill remains in the committee on rules, calendar and operations of the House.

RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory said a Concord senator’s tax reform plan is the closest to the first-term governor’s position.
McCrory said he wants a tax reform plan that doesn’t tax food or medicine and doesn’t extend sales tax to currently untaxed businesses.
“I believe the bipartisan plan set forth by Sens. Fletcher Hartsell (R-Cabarrus) and Dan Clodfelter (D-Mecklenburg) as well as Rep. David Lewis’ bill are closest to my position. After more than five months of serious dialogue with community, business and legislative leaders, we are on the cusp of tax reform,” McCrory said in a statement released Thursday.
But McCrory acknowledged his staff still has work to do before it can verify that any proposed plan could suffice.
“My administration still needs to validate the numbers of each plan to ensure we have sufficient funds to serve the citizens of North Carolina.
“We all share the goals of reducing personal and corporate income taxes. But I cannot support a plan which turns too many North Carolinians into first-time tax collectors. For instance, we do not want to require a young adult mowing lawns over the summer to collect taxes for his or her services.
“I am also opposed to taxing food and medicine.
“Our ultimate goal is to reduce tax rates for North Carolina families and businesses. The final tax plan must make North Carolina more competitive in order to create jobs and put our people back to work. This in turn will increase state revenue, allowing future tax relief without cutting public services.”