Sen. Brent Jackson Contributing columnist
October 17, 2013
Each year, after the General Assembly adjourns, ratings and reviews are released by groups that grade the work of the Legislature. This week, I want to bring a couple of those reports to your attention.
First, the North Carolina Free Enterprise Institute, a nonpartisan organization that promotes a positive business climate in the state, released its annual Legislative Business Ratings. These ratings are compiled using a confidential survey of over 400 industry and government leaders across the state and are meant to evaluate the business-friendliness of both individual legislators and the General Assembly as a whole. Overall, the 2013 session was considered to be very positive for commerce in North Carolina. I was pleased to hear that our business leaders are confident that the measures we took to improve the business climate will have the intended effects. I encourage you to look over the report using the link above and feel free to email me your thoughts and/or concerns. Please note, on page 5 of the slideshow, I was ranked third in the Senate. This rating was determined by my voting history, how I conducted legislative business and my willingness to sit down and “listen to all sides on an issue.”
Second, the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that provides research and analysis on federal and state tax policy, released its 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index. In Forbes magazine’s review of that report, the General Assembly’s tax reform initiative (House Bill 998) was expected to propel North Carolina from the bottom third of states to the top third for best business tax climate. They specifically cited cutting tax rates, flattening brackets for individual taxpayers and repealing the estate tax as positive changes for North Carolina residents and businesses.
Two of our primary goals this year were to create jobs and encourage new businesses to locate in North Carolina. By passing legislation that dramatically improved the business climate in the state, I believe we have taken a major step towards laying the foundation for future prosperity.
As always, when you call or email my office, normally you speak with a member of my staff. I want to assure you that I read each and every email that is sent to my legislative account and my staff provides detailed records of phone calls.
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Duplin County Voluntary Agriculture District Plans Open Meeting
The VAD Membership Program aims to encourage voluntary protection of rural North Carolina farmland from non-farm development by raising awareness of the agricultural enterprises present in a community. An informational meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 22 at the Lois G. Britt Agricultural Service Center in Kenansville. The meeting is free and open to the public, and will feature guest speaker Brandon King of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension. This is an excellent and important initiative and I am sure that any resident of Duplin County, farmer or otherwise, would benefit from attending.
Sampson Schools Receive National Recognition for Performance
Clement Elementary, Midway Elementary, Plain View Elementary, Hargrove Elementary and Hobbton Elementary have all been named “Title I Reward Schools for Performance”, meaning that they ranked among the top 10 percent of all Title I schools. Please join me in congratulating the staff and students of these schools and thanking them for the time and effort that earned them this recognition.
I appreciate you allowing me to serve you in the NC General Assembly and if I can ever be of service to you, please feel free to contact me at 919-733-5705 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/wbrentjackson and follow my new Twitter page at https://twitter.com/SenJackson. I look forward to hearing from you!