Son in law, Tim Haynes
MBA Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania
BS Hampden-Sydney College
Wachovia Bank, Regional Manager Commercial Mortgages, Winston-Salem and Raleigh Offices: 1966-1970;
Self-employed real estate developer/contractor, Hunt Properties, Inc: 1970-2007 - developed 4,000 multi-family housing units in Southeastern US.
Raleigh Planning Commission: 6 years, chairman for 3 years;
Raleigh City Council: At Large Seat, elected 2 terms;
North Carolina Senate: elected 4 terms,
Committees: Co-chair, Appropriations Base Budget Committee, Finance, Commerce, Transportation Oversight, and Program Evaluation
To bring common-sense business and financial solutions to state government issues.
I have sponsored or co-sponsored many legislative bills during 8 years of service. They range from the 2011-12 Budget bill (which balanced the budget with no tax increase) to the legislation requiring our public schools to say the Pledge of Allegiance, for additional regulation of puppy breeders, and to requiring voter photo ID. I will continue to promote these issues, as well as reasonable environmental protection legislation and legislation to repeal ObamaCare and put Medicaid on a sustainable basis. (Medicaid currently uses approximately 15% of state appropriations and is the most explosive growth factor in state government.).
The economy is basically stalled right now. Unemployment nationally and in NC is a chronic problem with new jobs over the last 4 years not keeping up with population growth. My focus will continue to be to make NC as business-friendly as possible by lowering tax rates, minimizing government regulations of business, preserving our environment, improving our transportation system, and improving K-12 (including viable vocational education alternatives), community colleges and our university system. In other words, make our state as attractive as possible to those wanting to start or expand a business.
They should go down. We already have the highest state taxes in the southeast -- the highest personal income tax rate, the highest corporate tax rate, the highest gas tax, and the highest sales tax rate (except for Florida and Tennessee which have no income tax). We are in a competitive disadvantage with our tax rates when it comes to expanding business and employment.
Tax reform is high on our agenda for the 2013 long session. Whatever ingredients are involved, the new plan is intended to be more simple, more fair, and provide a more stable source of revenue than we have in our current system.
Results are the best way judge education spending, as well as the effectiveness of current education policies. Currently, of the approximately $20 billion the General Assembly appropriates each year, $11 billion is for education, with about $7.5 billion of that going to K-12. K-12 spending is the largest spending category in the state budget.
The key to improving our educational system is to attract the best teachers and to retain them in the classroom, with the ultimate goal of improving student performance. Spending is the key to that. Currently, our per-pupil funding from all sources, federal, state and local, is close to the national average.
But in addition to spending, there are other important ingredients for attracting and retaining the best teachers. These include administrative support for the teachers' very difficult task, merit pay for exemplary performance, and legislation specific to improving the educational process. For example, this past session we passed legislation requiring reading proficiency before promotion from the third grade. Legislation like this to end social promotion is also critical in improving student performance.
No one likes tolls, but without the opportunity to use tolls, no new expressways would be built for at least 10 years under our current transportation funding formulas. The current so-called "equity formula" is out of date and needs to be repealed. That legislation basically gives preference to rural areas over more congested urban areas. I will continue to work to have that law repealed. Fortunately, we are closer than ever to have the votes to get that done.
There is additional state money required to build toll roads. Gap funds are required to fund the difference between the funding the tolls will support and the cost of the roads. This gap funding is legislatively approved and funded by all the taxpayers.
I believe the best way to attract new business to NC and to encourage others to expand is to make our state as attractive for businesses as we can. The best way to do that and also to be fair to businesses already in operation in NC (which incentives are not), is to do the following:
Have low tax rates (see response above about our uncompetitive tax rates),
Minimal business regulation,
Clean air and clean and abundant water supply,
Excellent K-12, Community Colleges and University System,
Educated work force, and
An excellent transportation system.
Married to my wife Nancy for 30 years, and we have one son, Hank, who is a physician in Tallahassee, FL and married to his wife, Kelly, with three wonderful grandchildren, George, Isabel and Sean
Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University and a Masters of Education degree from the University of South Carolina
A career in communications, starting as an instructor with the Dale Carnegie Organization and now president of my own company specializing in sales consulting, presentation skills, and communications training. I am also co-founder of the Raleigh Downtowner newspaper.
I have led five bond referendums for Wake County and the City of Raleigh for open space preservation, parks, greenways, affordable housing and transportation over the last 12 years, but this is the first time I have actually run as a candidate myself for elected office.
My top priority is to continue to make North Carolina the best place to live in America, recognizing that Wake County alone will double in size in the next 20 years. A better future for North Carolina means strengthening our economy and creating jobs by updating and improving our transportation infrastructure, supporting and investing in science and technology and respecting and appreciating the arts. It also means improving education by keeping university tuition affordable; creating greater access to our technical colleges; providing more teachers at K-12 and an open seat and a smiling teacher for every child in our More at Four and Smart Start programs. Finally, we need to protect our environment with clean and abundant water; improved air quality and abundant and protected open space, as well as more opportunities to recreate within our beautiful natural areas with more nature trails, open space, greenways and parks.
I would work very hard to undo much of the damage done by the most recent legislature, such as cuts to public education of almost $1 billion; defunding the Clean Water Management Trust Fund by 90% and firing 1,000 professional workers, including mostly inspectors at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. I would restore funding to women’s health and women’s health care, increase funding for transportation, technical colleges and our great universities and stay away from divisive issues that impact our competitiveness and jobs, such as amendments to the definition of marriage.
Our economy is starting to improve, no thanks to the current legislature. Our unemployment rate is so high in North Carolina in part due to the draconian policies of the current legislature of throwing thousands of hard-working, dedicated public servants out of their jobs, creating hardship for families, decreasing much needed capital within communities and reducing important and, at times, critical services to our citizens. It is embarrassing to see the lack of respect for professionals who have given their entire careers teaching our children, keep out state clean and beautiful and our citizens healthy now thrown to the side as unwanted and unappreciated overhead. To create more jobs in the private sector, I want to continue to make North Carolina the best place to live in America, attracting creative and talented professionals who will want to make North Carolina their home. To accomplish that, we must invest in transportation, including all modes of transportation; continue to invest in science and technology; and do more to respect and appreciate arts and culture.
Over the past 50 years, our economy has changed significantly, such as from a manufacturing to a service-based economy. There is no doubt that our current tax structure could use a comprehensive overhaul to encourage the type of growth and investment in the state that we all want. I would encourage a bipartisan look at how we can continue to make North Carolina competitive with our tax structure while still creating enough revenue to meet the needs of our citizens and invest in our future.
We can always improve our effectiveness at collecting taxes and fees. If there are ideas of how to do this more efficiently while also making it easier for citizens, I am totally open to such suggestions. As far as any additional taxes, I would support reinstating the ¾-cent sales tax for education to invest in our children and our future. I would also like to see lottery money going more directly to students as an incentive for achievement, such as scholarships, rather than into the general education fund that can then be reduced somewhere else, giving the state a lottery and a net loss to education funding.
It’s not enough, starting with the current legislature deciding to discontinue the ¾-cent sales tax for education. This cost almost $1 billion in revenue directly focused at education and throwing thousands of talented, committed teachers out of work, hurting their families, our communities and the children. It is inexcusable that we have needlessly increased class room sizes, reduced critical resources and created a more difficult environment for teachers, of which our children are ultimately the ones who suffering the most.
The goal of this state should be to encourage as many eligible citizens as possible the opportunity to exercise their right to vote and do this in the easiest and most accessible way possible. To that end, any efforts to reduce these rights of our citizens should be seen as a threat to our democracy.
North Carolina has been known as the “good roads state” for a reason, and we are quickly loosing that as a demarcation. We need to take a comprehensive look at how we fund our transportation systems, including more funding for all modes of transportation. Tolling seems to make sense on I-95, where too many out-of-state residents drive through our state without paying for maintaining our transportation corridors. Beyond that, I would look carefully at the wishes of the community in making other toll road decisions.
To the extent that we have to be competitive with other states, I understand that occasionally incentives need to be a necessary part of our economic development program. However, I believe if we can do more to make North Carolina the best place to live in America, those creative-class professionals will come willingly, which is exactly what the CEOs of companies want most. If we can attract an available and talented workforce, there will be less reason to have to have to bribe CEOs and companies to come to our state.