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Sen. Newton: Tax cuts a triumph
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Sen. Newton: Tax cuts a triumph
Wilson County lawmaker says tax reform will redefine business climate

Workers will keep more of their paychecks and might have more jobs to choose from as new companies set up shop in North Carolina, state Sen. Buck Newton said.

Wilson County’s state senator hailed the tax reform plan Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law July 23 as the most significant piece of legislation to emerge from the General Assembly’s 2013 regular session.

"We really accomplished a lot by doing that,” Newton said. "We achieved significant tax relief for pretty much everyone in the state. We’ve actually redefined the economic environment in North Carolina probably for the next 10 or 15 years at least.”

The reform package cuts the corporate tax rate from 6.9 percent to 5 percent, reduces the personal income tax by 2 percent and reduces the tax rate for top earners by a significant 25 percent. A Forbes magazine contributor called the bill "a best-in-class example” of pro-growth tax reform.

"I think it was the biggest and most important for no other reason than because it was the most difficult,” Newton said. "It was a very difficult task. It’s been attempted many times and never done successfully since the 1930s.”

The nonpartisan Tax Foundation says North Carolina leaps from 44th to 17th in its rankings of state business climates with the tax changes.

"We really worked hard to focus our policies on trying to help rebuild the economy and basically restore North Carolina’s place as a leader in the Southeast and in the country,” Newton said. "I feel like we’ve turned the corner.”

A private-practice attorney from Wilson, Newton represents portions of Wilson, Nash and Johnston counties in Senate District 11. He serves as co-chairman of the Senate’s Judiciary I and Justice and Public Safety Appropriations committees.


After an eventful 2013 session in the N.C. General Assembly, The Wilson Times spoke with every area lawmaker to get his or her take on major state issues. Look for more stories throughout the week.

Newton joined Republican leaders in the General Assembly in supporting a bill that requires voters to display a government-issued photo identification card at the polls, a move that supporters say is necessary to prevent voter fraud.

The bill also allows fewer days for one-stop early voting, but Newton said critics who contend that it limits access to the ballot box are giving people the wrong impression.

"There’s a lot of misinformation about the voter ID and elections bill,” Newton said. "When we took amendments — some Democratic amendments — the bill actually mandates in effect more hours of early voting than we previously had, it’s just condensed to 10 days.”

Newton said early voting rules were changes to ensure uniformity throughout the Tar Heel State. If some counties offered more days to vote early than others, he said, all North Carolinians wouldn’t enjoy equal access.

"We wanted there to be consistency across the state,” he said. "Unfortunately, in the past, you had different counties doing different things.”

The law that McCrory signed will streamline and standardize elections in North Carolina, Newton said, not discourage residents from voting.

"There should be ample opportunity for anybody who is entitled to cast a vote to be able to do it,” he said.



Newton worked with fellow local lawmakers, including state Rep. Jeff Collins, a Rocky Mount Republican, to ensure that language preventing toll collection on existing lanes of Interstate 95 was included in the final transportation bill.

Perhaps the most overshadowed piece of legislation that lawmakers passed, Newton said, is a regulatory reform bill that will allow the state to review internal rules and regulations at least every 10 years.

"You can’t talk about it in very specific terms, and it didn’t lend itself easily to the media covering it,” Newton noted.

The Wilson County senator also introduced a bill to improve educational outcomes for deaf and hard-of-hearing children by allowing them to choose whether to attend a school in their district or a residential school like the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf in Wilson.

The House version of that bill was ratified and signed into law, and two of its four primary sponsors were local lawmakers — Reps. Jean Farmer-Butterfield, D-Wilson, and Susan Martin, R-Wilson.

"I received and still receive a lot of positive feedback from our constituents about a number of the things we did this session,” Newton said. "I hope my constituents would find my performance to be generally good.”



Republican leaders’ conservative social policies have drawn the ire of Tar Heel State progressives. The state NAACP chapter began organizing "Moral Monday” protests outside the legislative complex in Raleigh, with hundreds of demonstrators being arrested in acts of civil disobedience for refusing to leave the legislative building.

Newton said he and the protesters have little in common — "I’m having trouble thinking of anything I might agree with them on,” he mused — but he said they’re free to express themselves and voice their displeasure.

"I think in many ways, it’s a testament to our democracy,” he said. "People certainly have the right to express their opinions. Back in 2009-10, a lot of people did the same thing throughout the country in the tea party protests. It’s an old and very proud American tradition.”

Newton said he found some of the protest signs he’s seen to be offensive, but he supports the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights to free speech, assembly and petition.

He said the Moral Monday crowds probably represent a vocal but small bloc of voters and doubts that their protests will cause a change of direction in Raleigh.

"I don’t think they are having much impact on things for the most part,” he said. "There’s a lot to events like this being organized, and a lot of it has to do with getting in front of a TV camera or newspaper reporter.”



Newton said most residents of Senate District 11 have supported the Republican legislative majority’s agenda.

"Most of the negative feedback that I got is not from people who are in my district,” he said. "It’s hard for me to think that my constituents are very dissatisfied.”

A seasoned litigator and second-term state lawmaker, Newton said he’s always willing to listen to those who disagree with him.

"When they call or write with a concern, usually we are able to discuss why I have the position and believe the way I do,” he said. "Folks either come to understand and agree with me or at least respect my opinion even if they don’t agree with me on everything.”

In a representative government, Newton said, residents elect leaders whose governing philosophy mirrors their own and trust them to apply that philosophy as they make decisions on individual bills.

"I try very, very hard to let people know what I believe and how I approach government,” he said. "I also approach it knowing most issues that have any controversy at all, you have to make a decision, and whatever decision you make is going to make somebody unhappy.”

Newton said lawmakers will probably focus on tying up loose ends and looking at popular bills that the clock ran out on when they convene next year for the General Assembly’s short session.

"I really appreciate people putting their trust in me to look at these things and study these things and make decisions,” he said. "It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s rewarding for me to know that hopefully in some small way I’ve helped people in Wilson, in our district, in the state.” | 265-7821
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Jella Ree said...

And thus we see the intelligent level of discourse when the subject matter involves Republicans.

Friday, August 09, 2013 at 5:51 PM
Wildtorn said...

Hows it feel being a Granma?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 at 12:06 AM
Fishin Mama said...

I'll bake you one tonight. None of that story bought crust either gonna be from scratch!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 at 9:39 PM
Wildtorn said...

Yeh I saw hime at Easy J a few week ago,. When you going to bak me another one of them apple pies?

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 at 9:29 PM
Fishin Mama said...

Wildtorn have you talked to Franklin lately?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 at 8:51 PM
American Honey @@ Dory said...

That's a great response! I laughed out loud. But, the sad thing is those are the REAL reasons.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 at 1:52 PM @ Dory said...

Racism and rednecks and Republicans, that's the reason.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 at 1:08 PM everyone said...

You are going to pay it somewhere. That's the real fact. Breaks, cuts, yada yada yada are just politician words but at the end of the day everyone will pay their tax this year, next year, and 100 years to come.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 at 9:45 AM Facts not talking point! said...

This is the single largest tax increase on the middle class in the history of the state. The top 1% will get a huge tax break and also get caps on the consumption tax they would pay for big ticket items. The get the tax breaks on income and they get caps on the sales taxes they would pay on big ticket items such as big boats and planes. Too bad I can't get that type of tax break when I buy a modest fishing boat. Real fair!

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 at 9:06 AM Dory said...

Why must the south always trail the rest of the nation when it comes to human rights?

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 at 12:22 AM A Southerner Named Americus said...

I don't know if he "cut a triumph" but these guys obviously cut something.... and it don't smell too good.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 at 10:49 PM To Wildtorn said...

They voted to put a hold on police departments buying drones for a couple of years. You must be thrilled.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013 at 10:40 PM @Proud, educated yankee said...

If the NC economy must depend on gay marriage for recovery well, we deserve to go under. I along with over 60% of those who voted, I feel safe in saying will agree with me when I say we DO NOT WANT THAT HERE. So go home Yankee if that is what you want.

Monday, August 05, 2013 at 1:49 PM @ @ Great Job Buck said...

What you call "one of the most destructive legislative sessions on record" I call a breath of fresh air. Can not wait until the short session. They one by a majority overwhelming the Dems. SO, the majority on NC must think they are doing a great job.

Monday, August 05, 2013 at 1:44 PM @ Great Job Buck said...

So the Republicans now in power are not corrupt? Apparently you haven't been following things too well. Thom Tillis, while he was busy leading one of the most destructive legislative sessions on record, was also busy selling, that s right, selling 3 seats on the UNC Board of Governors to the highest bidder. And their qualifications? The seats just happened to go to 3 who donated the largest amounts to Tillis. By the way, this guy is planning to run for US Senate. Politicians from BOTH parties can be corrupt. Neither party has a monopoly on corruption. You know the old saying, "power corrupts."

Monday, August 05, 2013 at 1:15 PM Message to Buck said...

"Speak out for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all the destitute." Proverbs 31:8
And tell me one more time, what have you and your Republican cronies done this session for the least among us? Perhaps you should read the Bible more often. By the way, where in the Good Book does it say anything about doing for the rich?

Monday, August 05, 2013 at 11:34 AM @ Wildtorn said...


Monday, August 05, 2013 at 8:23 AM North vs. South said...

At what point did this become an issue of north vs. south?
Last time I looked we were all being screwed by all of the politicians.
But you Grant/Lee wannabees keep arguing about states rights.
While you are doing that, the guv'mint is sliding us ALL into economic slavery and misery.
Great Job! Keep it up youse and y'all!
It's Reconstruction 2013!
Only this time The politicians are the north and the rest of us are the south.
And in the spirit of all the recent small mindedness, I am a Yankee.

Monday, August 05, 2013 at 7:48 AM Know This said...

"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Matthew 19:24)
Some of our Republican puppets in the legislature might want to take a moment to ponder this.

Monday, August 05, 2013 at 12:21 AM consistency? said...

Senator Newton likes "consistency". So when his United Methodist Church (he's a prestigious downtown church member) decides to count lgbt members as equal (something they're headed toward as the old folks pass on), I guess Senator Newton will have to find another ole' time religion. His views will be inconsistent with the United Methodists. Might take a couple of years, but let's watch what Mr. Consistency does.

Monday, August 05, 2013 at 11:22 PM @Bullwinkle22 said...

What page is that on? I have the King Limbaugh Republican Edition. All I can find in mine is stuff about gun rights and not being gay.

Monday, August 05, 2013 at 10:21 PM Wildtorn said...

@Wildtorn why do you only do mesages when I do a mesage? I have never seen any thong else you have put. I AM pre-pared for the zomby apocopis are you? I bytheway I can manage my grammer myownself. I dont need your help nor noone else.

Monday, August 05, 2013 at 9:28 PM Bullwinkle22 said...

I hope Buck Newton is a christian. If he is, I would suggest he re-read Matthew 25:40 - "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sister of mine, you did for me." The poor are still poor, the unemployed are still without work, and the uninsured are without Medicaid. Sleep well, Buck.

Sunday, August 04, 2013 at 7:02 PM Elmer said...

My wife told me some body on here was talking bout me. I had to ask a smart feller from church what was a personas. If you mean a person then I reckon I am one.Idont think you ought to pick on us folks who dont have as much schoolin as some others of you. I had to quite in grade 8 to go to work or else I woulda gone farther. I dont hate nobody and I think nobody who knows me hates me nether. I dont think the person who said them things knows me nether but may God bless them.

Sunday, August 04, 2013 at 6:58 PM great job Buck and the republican majority said...

you are doing exactly what the majority of NC voters intended when they sent a 140 year corrupt democratic majority packing and elected you two elections ago and increased your majorities and added a republican governor to help you fulfill the commitments we sent you there to do.

Sunday, August 04, 2013 at 5:05 PM @ proud educated yankees said...

cutting out long term vacations for freeloaders who would rather draw unemployment endlessly than accept jobs the don't pay much more than they can draw in unemployment , milking the system and sitting on their axxes is a plan to put people back to work. and an overwhelming majority of NC voters reaffirmed they don't want gay marriages allowed in NC. if you don't like it or approve of our majority vote, feel free to move back to your educated yankee gay marriage supported state, where you may fit in and feel more comfortable.

Sunday, August 04, 2013 at 5:02 PM American Honey @ Millie said...

He is not conducting himself like the "Christian" men I know.

Sunday, August 04, 2013 at 7:38 AM @ Wildtorn said...

Somehow I have a feeling that you intentionally misspell and mangle your grammar so as to cloak your statements in good-natured idiocy, as opposed to simply writing your opinion and letting it fall where it may. I do criticize you for that. There's no need to adopt personas (be it Wildtorn or Elmer says) to make a point, unless you don't have a point. My advice to you--spend more time preparing for your 'zomby apocopis' and less time commenting. Everybody will be better served.

Sunday, August 04, 2013 at 11:58 PM Proud, educated yankee said...

The northern states are raking the $$$ in with marriage equality (the marriage business is big-time commerce, what with all the flowers, hotel reservations, catering needs, wedding wear, etc)..but here in the "Christian" south, we choose to discriminate. Mr. Newton told me marriage equality is all about encouraging gay people to marry straight people and voila! problem solved. I don't where this guy got his education, but he needs an MRI to check if there's a brain in his head. I know leaders in his church who shake their heads with embarrassment on hearing his name. Now we have 1000 North Carolinians out of low-skilled work in a turkey plant and Mr. Newton worked to shorten their unemployment benefits. Where are 1000 folks in one community going to find work to support their families? And Mr. Newton decided it was a good thing to give $10 million to private schools (vouchers for a handful of kids) and leave teacher assistants unemployed. I hope Mr. Newton has a plan that's coming down the pike to provide needed employment...a plan that will put folks back to work before unemployment benefits run out. No point in saying more...the man has acknowledged his arrogance by simply saying "Folks either come to agree with me...or not". Well, of course...who would expect Mr. Newton to listen to reality and change his mind? Just on the marriage equality question, he told me he didn't realize that 80% of mixed-orientation marriages end in divorce. And he didn't care because his arrogance won't allow him to change his "ideas".

Sunday, August 04, 2013 at 9:56 PM @ huh said...

you have not been having to pay taxes on the first 50000.00 dollars you make? im damn sure glad the cut that BS out. I wish I didn't have to pay taxes on the first 50k I make. if I did I would never have to pay taxes. stop moaning and groaning

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 8:02 PM @ Southern said...

If you truly believe only Northerners, liberals and deadbeats oppose Buck Newton, you are ill informed. I am a native white Southerner, and proud of it! But unlike you, I care about the poor, the true middle class and public education. Unless you are rich or racist, you are being duped if you support this guy and his party. They are very clever about convincing people they are "for the middle class," when in fact their legislation this past session clearly favors the wealthiest among us. If you believe in that philosophy, then by all means support them. But if you are middle class or below, you are voting against your own economic self interests when you vote Republican.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 7:24 PM John Lennon said...

Bucky Boy,
What have you done?
You made a fool of everyone
Bucky Boy, what have you done
How did you know?
The rich were counting on you
Bucky Boy,
How did you know?
One sunny day, the poor were looking for a savior,
you came along to turn on everyone,
Bucky Boy how did you know?
Bucky Boy, you'll get yours yet,
however big you think you are
how ever big you think you are.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 6:16 PM @ southern said...

I hear that with his next piece of legislation, you will be able to get your white sheets cleaned and pressed tax free.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 5:46 PM Tell Me said...

How exactly "he" has forgotten the poor and the sick and the hungry? I really would like to know. What specifically has he done to make it harder for them to get medical treatment? housing? food? It's a good talking point but facts are not there to back it up. The middle class needs a strong top class. I know I do better when my boss and their company is doing better. I have seen what the fear of broader regulations and uncertainty about taxes can do to a company and their philosphy. When I had a company credit card and more leeway with my spending without daily oversight my pay was better, the company I worked for paid better wages and had more employees and made more money. Oversight like we have now inhibits them form growing and when they grow I make more money. I am the middle class that relys on someone who has "made it" to give me a pay check for my skills. It's the facts.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 5:35 PM Wildtorn said...

@Wildtorn the only time you ever say any thing is right after I say some thing. And then all you every do is critisise me. Cant you thing of any thing to say your self to contrbute to the conversasion? You can not disapprove any thing I said. just because you dont agree dos not mean you are right and I am wrong. I have been wrong bfore by not much. Check your facts.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 4:27 PM Millie said...

Buck is a Christian man. He does not deserve this criticism.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 2:07 PM SoxFan @Southern said...

I'm not a liberal and I'm not a deadbeat. I am a northerner however so I will take that part as a complement.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 1:50 PM Campaign Slogan said...

"Buck Off"

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 12:23 PM Jella Ree said...

All I see from this guy is an unrelenting desire to cause misery for the poor ... while he cuts taxes on yachts and laughs about it all.
Not a very good reflection on the church he attends.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 10:44 AM Baffled said...

Is this guy really in the Senate? Or is it another case of mistaken identity?

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 9:26 AM No, Buck said...

No, Buck, you did not help people in Wilson, you seem to have forgotten the sick, the poor, the unemployed, the women, the elderly and the former felons. Are you hoping with your new carry anywhere gun law that they will be eliminated and you will not have to worry about them. You have done a great disservice to the community of Wilson and we are ashamed of you and your poor judgment when it comes to doing the best thing for your constituents. Shame on you for even thinking that you did a good job. We will be at your door soon to let you know that many people from Wilson attended and participated in Moral Mondays. If you read the WT at all then you would know that. Keep your head in the sand about what Wilson County wants and needs. Shame on you for participating in this travesty that has brought attention to NC as the worst state ever. Shame Shame Shame on you, you do not represent what is needed in Wilson County.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 9:06 AM southern said...

Seems only the yankees, liberals, and deadbeats oppose you Mr. Newton. Job well done, do more.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 7:33 AM To huh???? said...

Who put in the place and why and when was it implemented and for what purpose? If you'd answer that you'd see that your post is entirely misinformed and wrong in so many ways. I'm sure your read a blurb in a paper or saw three minutes on the news about it. If you answered the questions posed you'd know which party put it in to place and why....scary how misinformed people are.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 5:38 AM It's not a tax cut said...

when you get rid of the tax-free weekend, Buck. It's a tax hike. I know you weren't that sharp of a student at Hunt and I see not much has changed even without your mullet.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 1:46 AM @ Wildtorn said...

Enough with the persona, buddy. Not sure what your aim is, but it's a waste of time both for your writing it and us reading it.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 11:35 PM SoxFan said... people down here are so backwards!

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 10:44 PM Patriot said...

Has anybody heard of Agenda21. The UN is trying to take over the world. There will be one government and no private ownership of anything including land.

Saturday, August 03, 2013 at 10:29 PM Thanks Buck said...

Now I can finally buy that yacht I've been holding back on b/c of the excessive tax I would have had to pay on it. Oh, wait - I just realized my wife, who was a teacher assistant, will not have a job any longer. From your article, you seem to be such a wise man. When are you going to do something about my wife and some of her friends losing their jobs? Aren't you supposed to do the people's bidding?

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 8:35 PM John Lennon said...

I'm sick and tired of hearing things from uptight short sighted narrow minded hypocrites - and that includes you, Bucky Boy. These Republicans are full of themselves. The small decrease in income tax rates will easily be surpassed by all the new taxes Buck and his buddies have added to the plate.

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 8:31 PM Feda Bain said...

This Newton guy strikes me as not having much of an intellect.

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 6:42 PM Wildtorn said...

I am sorry I hit sent to soon. The goverment is taking our guns and a. Google shows your house. We dont have anymore second amendment privacy. I have to pay tax for my dogs and cats. Skunk apes have been spotted in Florada and could spread to North Caralina.

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 5:08 PM Wildtorn said...

We are in tuff times. gas prices anr rising.many politsions are on tv. ejupt is rioting. Obamacare is closing Wilson hospital. Snakehead fish are invading our crivers. the goverment is sping on us with drones. The ocean is rising. ther will be less land goand peoplem are growing. A zomby apocopis is posible because of chemical going into the ground. Ryan Paul is filerbutering in Washington. The government

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 5:01 PM @Huh???? said...

I am glad you are paying taxes on that cash now. I need it in my check each month so I can buy more beer, cigarettes and lotto tickets. My kids need some new clothes also if you want to donate any extra. Is this not a great country or what?
Thanks a bunch.
Signed: A Citizen In NEED
Keep up the good work Buck!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 2:50 PM Digusted said...

This guy is a spoiled self centered rich brat. You have little in common with most of us Mr. Newton, shame on you.

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 12:55 PM Really? said...

Buck doesn't mention how his "triumph" caused 68 teacher assistants in Wilson County to lose their jobs. At least he preserved the tax cut/cap for purchase of yachts! His triumph is going to be a disaster for ordinary citizens.

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 11:00 AM it is a great plan said...

if you are a top earner or a corporation.
only time will tell how many companies locate here because of the tax rate.
employees won't relocate here because it is corrupt and the school system stinks.

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 10:50 AM Great Job said...

Keep up the good work.

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 10:18 AM Cincinnatus said...

Please Buck,save the self-serving pat on the back for your family and friends. Nobody really cares about what you are doing, it's what your not doing that most really care about. Enjoy the limelight while you can, your tenure may be short lived!!

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 8:33 AM Thank You! said...

Thank you Senator Newton for all the things you accomplished during this session. We are very proud to have you as a leader in Raleigh!!

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 8:18 AM Huh???? said...

The first sentence in this article---you have GOT to be kidding! Most people will NOT have lower taxes. I own a small business and have enjoyed not having to pay taxes on the first $50,000 that I make. But now it's the end of that. And due to other "reforms", this year I'll be lucky to even make that $50,000. Sorry I don't own a yacht, and never will, so I can't use THAT tax benefit. roll eyes here...
And what about all the teacher assistants who lost their jobs? Who will help them??? How has the budget helped them? NOT! All anyone has to do is read the comments made in these Daily Times comment areas to see we need all the education we can get in Wilson.
What a mess NC is in now!! Never thought we'd be the subject of so many comedians' jokes. Pitiful!

Friday, August 02, 2013 at 11:40 PM
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