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Constitutional change on income tax rate cap OK'd by Senate

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RALEIGH (AP) -- A constitutional amendment lowering the cap on North Carolina income tax rates is halfway to voters following Senate passage of a November 2018 referendum.

The Republican-controlled chamber voted mostly along party lines Tuesday for the proposal altering the state Constitution, which currently caps rates at 10 percent. The referendum seeks permission to lower the cap to 5.5 percent -- just above the current individual rate.

Democrats argue lowering the cap would limit North Carolina's flexibility to close massive revenue shortfalls and hurt its top-level bond rating. But Republicans say the amendment would help ensure rates remain low following tax rate reductions this decade, and that lawmakers have other avenues to generate funds in a crisis.

The bill now goes to the House. Gov. Roy Cooper can't veto proposed amendments.

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