Last week, legislators returned to Raleigh to kick-off the 2019 legislative session. Prior to their arrival, we released our 2019 legislative agenda, which you can read here. This year, our team plans to build upon the victories we’ve secured in recent years, while tackling new challenges facing North Carolina’s business community, and we’re ready to hit the ground running to deliver on your Jobs Agenda. Before I share our 2019 competitive business climate and entrepreneurship and innovation priorities, I’d like to hear from you. We know that there are many issues facing your business that you have to continually work through and we want to hear about them. Please take a moment to fill out this survey and tell us about your company’s priorities for 2019.
Competitive Business Climate
A competitive business climate is key to fueling economic prosperity across North Carolina. From taxes and health care to tort reform and workers’ compensation reform, there are many components that shape a competitive business climate. Each of the priorities outlined below will be instrumental in strengthening North Carolina’s competitive business climate.
- The NC Chamber will work to cap, reduce, and eliminate the state franchise tax over the next five years as it is a regressive tax that penalizes North Carolina businesses for tangible investments on their business.
- Following several tax changes passed in the 2018 legislative session, the NC Chamber will work to decouple from the Internal Revenue Code section 163(j) “limit deduction on interest expense.” The Chamber will also work to repeal the expansion of the franchise tax on small businesses.
- The NC Chamber is committed to bringing value-driven health care to North Carolina in order to improve health outcomes and make costs more predictable and affordable. For this reason, the NC Chamber supports association health plans.
- The NC Chamber will oppose legislation that expands the number of health insurance mandates imposed on North Carolina businesses as they unduly increase health care costs for employers.
- The NC Chamber will continue to oppose the elimination of Certificate of Need (CON) while working to advance CON reforms that reduce cost to the healthcare system and business.
- The NC Chamber will advance tort and civil liability reforms that regain North Carolina’s position as a top-10 state for legal business climate, including reforms that provide certainty and protect companies from frivolous nuisance lawsuits.
- The NC Chamber will work to defeat legislation that erodes the balanced reforms to North Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws. In addition, the NC Chamber will fight to maintain balance on the North Carolina Industrial Commission by supporting and/or opposing nominees during the confirmation process.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
If North Carolina is to remain competitive in the decades to come, fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation is essential. That is why the priorities we’ve included in this year’s legislative agenda focus on stimulating business investment, advancing start-ups and spreading economic opportunity in North Carolina’s non-urban areas.
- The NC Chamber will advocate to establish a research and development grant program for early-stage and start-up businesses.
- The NC Chamber will seek and promote policies that encourage angel investing and venture capital investment in North Carolina companies.
- Federal tax reform provided opportunities for states to create qualified Opportunity Zones that “are low-income census tracts where tax incentives may accrue to those who invest and hold their capital gains in OZ assets or property.” The NC Chamber will work with lawmakers and stakeholders to promote Opportunity Zones and will work to advance policy recommendations that encourage business investment in non-urban and distressed areas of the state.
Gary J. Salamido
Chief Operating Officer and Acting President