From Gov. Pat McCrory, in response to Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten’s Sunday column (“The source of all McCrory’s troubles?” Dec. 1):
I covered many issues in my 90-minute plus interview last week with the Observer’s editorial page editor, and here are the items that should interest nearly every citizen in this state as we head into 2014.
First and foremost, North Carolina is poised for an economic revival.
Since this time last year, North Carolina has gained approximately 80,000 jobs and the unemployment rate has dropped to 8 percent, the lowest it’s been in five years. Our goal is to be a national leader in job growth based on policies we’ve already implemented and new reforms for the coming year.
Chief among those polices are the historic tax reforms I signed into law earlier this year. Starting on Jan. 1, the income tax rate will go down for every North Carolina taxpayer. We made our rates more competitive to allow existing businesses to create jobs and attract new businesses to the state. North Carolinians will see more money in their paychecks next year, and we’re already hearing great feedback from businesses that are making long-term job growth investments in our state.
We are going to continue to reform the way our state competes for and attracts jobs. We’re going to be faster, smarter and more aggressive to the point that no state will have a better system in place to recruit jobs and help existing business grow than we have right here in North Carolina.
Merit, instead of political influence, will determine where transportation infrastructure is built. Relieving congestion, improving safety and economic development are now the pillars of a long-term transportation strategy that will connect our rural areas to economic hubs to help rebuild towns that have been hit hard during the economic downturn. Job creation will be the cornerstone of smart transportation planning going forward.
In the upcoming year, we’ll focus on an energy policy that will further help North Carolinians get back to work, fuel innovation at our universities and community colleges and protect our environment.
As I did when I was mayor for 14 years, I will work hard as governor to build consensus by bringing solution-oriented leaders to the table. While some elected officials, media or overly partisan groups think it makes better copy to tear this process down, we’re not going to be distracted. The future of our state is too important and the great people of North Carolina deserve nothing less.
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