RALEIGH, North Carolina (AP) — Efforts to exempt North Carolina residents from state income tax on the value of student loan forgiveness announced last month by President Joe Biden will probably unsuccessful given that the most influential member of the state senate opposes it.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper asked lawmakers last week to change state law to correct what he called a “fundamental injustice to many hard-working people who will be hit hard” through an income tax payment.
But Senate Leader Phil Berger told reporters Tuesday he saw no need to take action. He said such an exemption would be unfair to people who have to pay income tax on the monetary value of credit card debt and mortgage write-offs. And Berger also asked if Biden had a basis in federal law for declaring a pardon.
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The White House said the value of that rebate — up to $10,000 for some and up to $20,000 for others — is exempt from federal income tax. North Carolina appears to be one of six states where the amounts would be subject to state tax unchanged.
Cooper compared the legislature’s decision last year to exempt Paycheck Protection Program loans during the pandemic for businesses from state income tax to the forgiveness of student loans. But Berger, a Republican from Rockingham County, called the PPP “a completely different situation.”
“The PPP loans were taken in the wake of the shutdown of the economy by the federal government and the state government. And those loans were provided for by federal law … passed by Congress,” Berger said. The student loans, he added, “were not taken out in any kind of emergency situation.”
The White House said Tuesday that about 1.19 million people in North Carolina would be eligible for student debt relief under the Biden administration plan. It is unclear exactly how much state tax revenue would be collected. North Carolina’s personal income tax rate of 4.99% drops to 4.75% in 2023.
said on Tuesday that he did not support legislation that would exempt
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