Sunday, June 23, 2013

Praying for Billy Yow

Over the last few years I have had the pleasure of getting to know Billy Yow. When I first ran for public office in 2010, I reached out to Billy to introduce myself and to ask for his help. Although he had never met me, he was gracious with his time and encouraging of my efforts to get involved in politics.

Upon getting to know Billy, I was impressed with his dedication to public service and his common sense approach to solving problems. I admired the way in which he would speak from the heart and tell you exactly how he feels. He is a logical thinker, and Guilford County has benefited from his years of service on the Board of Commissioners.

In addition to public service, Billy is extremely dedicated to his family and to his business. He has built a successful company and supported his family by working hard nearly every day of his life. His work ethic is impeccable.

When I heard about the recent accident that Billy was involved in, I was in shock. Billy has a larger-than-life persona, which makes it hard to believe that he is injured.

Billy Yow is a friend of mine. He is one of the most determined and tenacious individuals I have ever met. There is no question that he is fighting hard and fearlessly to overcome his injuries.

With his determination to succeed, I am confident that Billy will make a full recovery. But we need to pray for him to stay strong. We also need to pray for the strength and comfort of his family.

Keep up the good fight, Billy. I look forward to seeing you again soon.


Jon Hardister

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tax Reform Update

As you know, we have been working on a tax reform plan in the NC House. Our goal is to modernize an outdated tax code and reduce overall tax rates. Most importantly, we are working to create a better business environment, which will promote job creation.

Here is an overview of our plan...

HB 998 - The Tax Simplification and Reduction Act

Under this plan, working families of North Carolina will keep more of the money they earn. This will make our State more competitive for job creation. In fact, Americans for Tax Reform predicts that this plan would result in our State going from the 7th worst business climate to the 19th best in the nation.


This plan would cut the personal income tax by $1.7 billion over the next five years, giving all North Carolinians an income tax reduction. The three-tiered tax bracket system would be eliminated and replaced with a flat rate of 5.9 percent. This is a much more equitable method of applying income taxes to our citizens.

There would be no tax on Social Security, and the deductions for mortgage interest and property tax would remain in place with a $25,000 maximum.

Moving to a flat tax on personal income is a major development in reforming our tax code. It will make our State much more conducive for economic growth, and it will benefit all of our citizens.


North Carolina's corporate tax rate would be reduced from 6.9 percent to 5.4 percent. This would make our corporate tax rate the second lowest in the Southeast, just behind South Carolina. Reducing this particular tax is pivotal, because corporate taxes are typically passed to consumers. Reducing this tax would also make North Carolina more attractive for businesses, which will result in more job creation.


Currently, our sales tax applies primarily to goods and not to services. Over the last couple of decades our State has moved from more of a goods-based economy to a service-based economy. As a result, our government is generating less revenue from the sales tax, which has caused income and corporate taxes to increase.

In order to get these rates down, we must expand the sales tax to include some, but not all, services. This plan would expand the sales tax to services that already collect and remit part of the sales tax, such as warranties and service contracts. Doing this allows us to lower our overall tax rates, which will help to spur economic growth.

Exemptions from state sales taxes on food and medicine would be kept in place. This would ensure that citizens are not paying taxes on the most essential necessities.


Tax reform is a process, and this plan is a positive step toward creating a sensible tax structure. I believe this is an excellent plan. Not only will it ease the tax burden on our citizens, it will also help to achieve the objective of creating a better economic environment. This plan also sets us on course to implement further tax reform measures in the future.

Stay tuned for more updates on tax reform, and let me know if you have any feedback. Your thoughts are always welcome.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

NC House Update - June '13

Tax Reform

We are now in the midst of discussing tax reform in the NC House. My hope is that we can lower personal income taxes; move to a flat rate on personal income taxes; lower the corporate tax rate; and broaden our sales tax to cover some, but not all, services. Our goal is to create a tax code that will ease the burden on taxpayers and generate more economic activity.

If you have thoughts or ideas on tax reform, please contact me. Your feedback is always welcome.

State Budget

In addition to tax reform, we are currently working through the budget process. Our goal is to implement a budget that is fiscally responsible and sensible. Both the House and Senate are working on individual plans, and there will be extensive discussions before a final plan is reached.

In my opinion, we must focus on working to advance a plan that applies taxpayer funds to core responsibilities of government. Stay tuned for more information as we move forward with this process.

Bills Pass the NC House

There have been numerous bills that I have cosponsored this legislative session. However, there are seven bills that I have filed this year as the lead sponsor. Fortunately, each of these bills has passed the House and moved to the Senate.

Advancing these bills was a great honor, and I could not have done it without the support of colleagues and staff. Here is a list of each of the bills that I filed as the lead sponsor this session:

HB 250 - Charter School Enrollment

HB 273 - Charter School/LEA Accounting of Funds

HB 610 - Modify Requirements for In-Stand Beer Sales

HB 687 - Homeless Shelters/ Remove Age Limits

HB 688 - Amend Continuing Ed Req's/Cert. Well K'ors

HB 761 - Exempt Well K'ors/Electrical K'ors Lic Reqs

HB 762 - Amend Certain Bail Bond Procedures

Common Core

Lately I have been getting a lot of feedback on Common Core, which is a federal program pertaining to education. Parents and teachers alike have contacted me to express their concerns about this topic. While the supporters of Common Core may have good intentions, I must confess that I have serious concerns about this program.

First and foremost, I believe that education is a state and local issue. As someone who believes in parental choice and local control of education, I am skeptical of any federal program that would institute regulations on education in North Carolina.

HB 718, which is currently in the NC Senate, would create a commission to study the effects of Common Core in North Carolina. I think this is a great idea, and it is important that we move forward with this study.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any thoughts, concerns, or ideas on the topic of Common Core.

Quote to Remember

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."
- Vince Lombardi