Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
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Experts brief N.C. legislators on issues, options and implications of tax reform


Reforming North Carolina’s tax code and tax policies is a daunting, complex and politically charged endeavor, but absolutely necessary for the state’s economic future, experts and legislators agreed at a July 24 summit hosted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

“Tax reform is an economic imperative,” said Brent Lane, director of the institute’s UNC Center for Competitive Economies, who organized the summit on Tax Policy Reform Options and Economic Growth. “We keep waiting for a recovery. It’s not coming. We’re going to have to make our own recovery.” Tax reform is an essential part of that process, he said.

About two dozen N.C. legislators, policy aides and budget and tax officials convened for the summit, organized by Lane and his team at the request of Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Thom Tillis.

The N.C. General Assembly is considering changes to the state’s tax code and policies as part of a comprehensive economic revitalization plan. Numerous options have been identified by prior tax reform efforts in North Carolina and other states. To date, these efforts have achieved few results, legislators said.

The summit was designed to begin forging a consensus for tax reform that supports economic and income growth. It featured economic experts, legislators and leaders of growing companies in North Carolina discussing the state’s current tax policies, previous reform efforts, options for reform and their economic ramifications, the experiences of other states, and the inevitable challenges a tax reform process will bring.

“It’s a good first step toward 2013, when we hope to be addressing tax reform,” said N.C. Sen. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg), co-chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

For more information, contact Lane at or (919) 962.8871.