State lawmakers discuss taxes and business

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It has been six months since the Republican-led US Congress passed a tax overhaul. Wednesday morning business owners in the area got a chance to speak with two lawmakers about changes they hope will keep the economy growing.

Tax reform and rolling back regulations were just a few topics discussed during a roundtable at the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce with Senator Thom Tillis and Congressman David Rouzer.

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The pair of republican lawmakers sought insight into how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is doing across the state.

“Apple and others are looking at North Carolina as a possible opportunity to expand their headquarters,” Tillis said. “We’ve seen minimum wage increases in terms of what the private sector wants to do and the retail, and banking, and a number of other areas. We’ve seen thousands of bonuses given out.”

Tillis and Rouzer sat down with local business owners to discuss what works and what needs to be changed.

“Additional infrastructure, additional access to broadband, additional access to roads so that you have the kind of corridors that a major employer needs,” Tillis said.

Some business owners, like Kusek Financial Group owner Patricia Kusek, want more rollback of regulations.

“You really don’t realize it until it really does get into your everyday operation and it’s like almost every week there was some other requirement or regulation that was making it take twice as long to do what I normally would do. Or maybe to make it so difficult you just couldn’t do it at all,” Kusek said.

Another issue discussed, an aspect of the Farm Act and Rouzer’s push to have able-bodied people on food stamps work at least 20 hours.

“More jobs are going to be created, and it means more workers are going to be needed,” Rouzer said. “So this is coming at a critical time where you have 3.9% unemployment. That means there’s not that many workers out there available for these jobs to be filled. This is going to enable those who are on the sidelines, who are able-bodied, to be able to get the training they need in order to move on and have a meaning career.”

Other issues discussed at the roundtable were foreign trade and immigration.