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New NC laws in new year alter campaigns, taxes

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GARY D. ROBERTSON
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- More than 20 laws take effect in the new year in North Carolina.

Much of the tax overhaul law approved in the summer is implemented starting today. Income tax rates fall for individuals and corporations, while many deductions, exemptions and credits are going away. Standard deductions are growing. The sales tax base is also increasing slightly.

The photo identification requirement to vote approved in 2013 doesn't begin until 2016 and could still be struck down in court. But people without qualifying IDs can obtain one for free through the Division of Motor Vehicles in the new year. Individuals and political committees will be able to give $5,000 per election to a campaign, up from $4,000.

Plug-in electric vehicle owners also will begin paying another $100 annually at registration time.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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And then........

There's the change to unemployment:
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-01-02/emergency-unemployment-b...

There are some crazy stats in this article:
"North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped dramatically, from 8.8 percent to 7.4 percent between July and November. By comparison, the national unemployment rate fell by 0.6 percent over the same period. A closer look, however, suggests that North Carolina’s unemployment numbers have fallen not because the long-term jobless have found work but because they’ve quit looking altogether. As a result, the state no longer counts them as unemployed."

And this further on:
" “Year over year, the number of employed people in North Carolina ticked up by 6,082, while the unemployed fell by 101,901. That means the labor force contracted by 95,009. So the improvement has not necessarily been driven by more people going to work and is actually being driven to a large degree by people leaving the labor force.” In October the state’s labor force participation rate hit a 37-year low."

I'm not sure how I feel about this cut to unemployment benny's - after reading this article I can see where the affect is more smoke and mirrors than actual improvement.
YoY improvement in the number of employed people of 6,082? That is pathetic in a state of 9.5 million people. Of course there is still the DEM hangover and changes to employment levels take time to see........

Vog

New laws have consequences

in our "musings" regarding public housing and drug testing several among us have called for mandatory drug testing for housing/medicaid assistance recipients.
Well now we have ANOTHER Federal Judge striking down ANOTHER state law calling for just that sort of testing:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/31/us-usa-drugs-florida-idUSBRE9B...

Yes Surf City - it is classified as unreasonable search.
Judge after judge has ruled along these lines and although they will appeal I firmly believe this ruling will be upheld.
But there is interesting information that was presented as evidence:
"During the time the law was in effect, about 2.6 percent of recipients tested positive for illegal drugs, mostly for marijuana, according to the court documents.

The failure rate was well below that of the general population. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found in a 2009 survey that about 8.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older had used illicit drugs in the previous month."

I would hope that this ruling changes our outlook on this subject. Yes it is possible that here in Wilmington the numbers COULD be worse but legal history is now FULL of previous cases showing that this outlook some of us have is misguided and based upon urban legend rather than fact. Even common sense would tell us that a 2.6 percent failure rate doesn't make this a fiscally responsible law. So even though NC's law would be suspicion based the RESULTS will be far less than any of us hoped for.

Vog

I just don't believe your stats...

...on top of not understanding what your post has to do with "new laws" because this isn't one of them. In fact, it isn't a law at all because it was shot down remember? But since we're here:

"2.6% percent of resident tested positive". I call total bull dung on that one! Think about it Vog, the vast majority of crime in public housing is DRUG RELATED. You have the peeps using it and you have the peeps selling it. I can guarantee you that if every household member over 12 years old was tested for drugs upon entry of their new housing AND were put into a pool for Random testing to maintain benefits, at least 50% of them couldn't pee straight enough to hit a 55 gallon drum from 6" away!!! Those stats you quote are bogus, slanted and a fully inaccurate picture of any sense of reality. You have bigger that a 2.6% failure rate for working people that have to keep their jobs.

Mainly though is this very relevant point. I've had to take drug screens for the past twenty years in order to remain "qualified" to earn the money that pays for these peoples public housing. Every single one of those recipients should be tested as well to remain qualified to use my money! "Discrimination against poor people" my narrow @$$!!! That's a piss-poor excuse and ruling (no pun intended)!

And just in case you're curious, I feel the same way about the "Voter ID" requirement. Being poor or black has nothing at all to do with it!

Tastee

you miss the point completely.
Private industry CAN and does administered mandatory drug testing but public housing is different because its the gubmint doing it and they are the last group you want mandating Anything.
The judge in this case ruled along the lines of other judges it is illegal search.

As for the stats you can call BS all you want because Florida is just one of SEVERAL states that have found the exact same thing !! The COST of the law(drug testing) is not effective.
Also note something about the survey I referenced:
"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found in a 2009 survey that about 8.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older had used illicit drugs in the previous month."
The survey included a segment of he population aged 12 to 18 that admittedly used drugs. Those kids CAN'T get housing assistance so the number of drug addicts aged 18 and up should be lower !!!!

fortunately NC's "law" is suspicion based - they HAVE to have just cause to even recommend testing and considering its public servants evaluating these folks I doubt they would even make the case for the testing.
Oh and drug use has nothing to do with poor versus rich or black versus white. Its all about numbers and our perception of what we believe the numbers are is not based upon fact. We need to come to grips with this false perception.
its like believing they don't work - the assistance is determined by your INCOME............

Vog

Taxes

Co. Is having a much better time than state

20 New Laws

Your first line of the news article says that more than 20 new laws will take effect this year. Are you planning to let us know what they are?

Mac, good question. I have

Mac, good question. I have heard so much about all the new laws, taxes and such, I wish some news media, somewhere would just list the most important ones that will have the most effect on us in general. Things like: what will be the new personal deduction for NC taxes? What will sales tax be added to that has not been taxed before?