Under the Dome

Tillis says philosophical divide separates House, Senate on taxes

House Speaker Thom Tillis made clear Tuesday that the divide between the House and Senate tax plans remains a wide gulf.

In an interview, Tillis said the two chambers need to breach a "philosophical" divide -- one that may take days, if not longer, to reconcile. His tone seemed to differ from Senate leader Phil Berger earlier in the day. "We are trying to change the mix in a way we believe will actually stimulate economic activity," Tillis said. "I think the Senate is trying to do the same thing, but they have also focused on spending reductions --which we all want, but we need to do it at a pace that we can actually absorb."

Tillis said House Republicans are concerned about cutting too deep into revenue needed for state spending priorities and hurt local governments, forcing them to increase property taxes.

As for the criticism that the Senate plan doesn't represent tax "reform," but merely a tax cut, Tillis said its "a valid question."

Gov. Pat McCrory is involved in the discussions and is expected to play a key role after the legislation is approved. "We need the governor fully on board so he can communicate it and get people to understand it," Tillis said.

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