Senator Rucho Resigns as NC Senate Finance Committee Co-Chairman

June 13, 2013

In an interesting twist in the North Carolina tax reform debate, Senator Bob Rucho (R), announced his resignation as Co-Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee today. According to an Associated Press story from this morning,

Sen. Bob Rucho of Mecklenburg County wrote Thursday to Senate leader Phil Berger saying he had submitted his resignation as chairman effective earlier this week…The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter, in which Rucho says he and Berger have a “fundamental disagreement” on the most effective model of tax reform and how to manage the legislation.

Senator Rucho proposed a comprehensive overhaul of the state’s tax code (the “NC Fair Tax Act,” one of multiple competing plans), which would have lowered income taxes, reformed the franchise tax, and expanded the sales tax to included services. However, the Senate ultimately went with a proposed committee substitute for HB 998. This new Senate plan was introduced late last week and is scheduled for Senate floor debate today.

Yesterday, when the new Senate legislation was being debated in Senate Finance, Senator Rucho said he could not support the new proposal because it didn’t constitute comprehensive reform.

Update (12:11pm EST): The plot thickens. Senator Berger replied to Senator Rucho with his own letter: "I hereby respectfully decline to accept your resignation as Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee." You can see Senator Rucho's original resignation letter here.

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