Tom Bullock

Reporter

Tom Bullock decided to trade the khaki clad masses and traffic of Washington DC for Charlotte in 2014. Before joining WFAE, Tom spent 15 years working for NPR.  Over that time he served as everything from an intern to senior producer of NPR’s Election Unit.  Tom also spent five years as the senior producer of NPR’s Foreign Desk where he produced and reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Haiti, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon among others.  Tom is looking forward to finally convincing his young daughter, Charlotte, that her new hometown was not, in fact, named after her.

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Local News
12:20 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Sales Tax Cap Debate Proves Contentious But Passes NC Senate

Credit 401(K) 2013 / Flickr

On Wednesday, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill capping county sales tax rates at 2.5 percent.

The vote was 33 to 16.   

The final tally came after more than an hour of contentious debate.

North Carolina’s urban vs. rural divide was front and center throughout the debate.  

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Politics
3:37 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Sales Tax Cap Passes Key Senate Vote

Credit NC General Assembly

After a contentious debate on the Senate floor earlier today, a bill capping county sales tax passed 33 to 16. Joining Mark Rumsey to talk about the bill and the implications for Mecklenburg County is WFAE’s Tom Bullock.


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Politics
9:46 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Are Safe Political Seats Behind The Budget Impasse?

North Carolina counties by party representation in state Senate.

Imagine the nasty notes you’d receive if you were four weeks late on your rent or mortgage.

If a pregnancy went four weeks long doctors would induce labor.

But if you’re a lawmaker, or a whole group of them in Raleigh, and your budget is four weeks late as of today, well…

So what is taking the pressure off lawmakers to get a budget deal done?

Unless you’ve spent your summer on a desert island with a volleyball named Wilson you know the issues holding up the budget are teacher pay, teaching assistants and Medicaid payments.

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Local News
9:35 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Senate Changes County Sales Tax Bill; Still Kills Meck County Vote

On Monday night the Senate Finance Committee debated county sales taxes again.

That bill was changed but not in a way that would keep a planned Mecklenburg county vote alive.

Generally, if you buy something in Mecklenburg county, you currently pay 7.25 percent in sales tax. The majority of that tax goes to the state, but 2.5 percent goes to the county.

The original senate proposal capped the sales tax rate every county could charge at 2.5 percent. That original senate plan passed the finance committee unanimously last Wednesday.

So what was the big change?  It comes down to two words: either, or.

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Local News
10:25 am
Thu July 17, 2014

NC Senate Bill May Kill Meck Teacher Pay Increase; Common Core In Limbo

Credit Jayron32 of English Wikipedia

Teacher Pay and Common Core were the news out of Raleigh on Wednesday.

The House passed a bill that puts the future of Common Core standards in limbo. Governor McCrory says he’ll sign the measure into law. And a bill making its way through the state Senate would effectively kill a Mecklenburg County vote this November. That referendum asks voters if they want an increase in sales tax to help pay for teacher raises and funding for the arts.

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Local News
9:52 am
Tue July 15, 2014

NC Budget Stalemate Enters Third Week

Credit eric731 / Flickr

The stalemate over North Carolina’s budget enters its third week. Some progress has been made in the negotiations. But at a committee meeting Monday leaders of the House showed just how far they are from a deal with their Senate counterparts.

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Local News
4:20 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Governor McCrory Says Politicians Should Leave Charlotte Airport Alone

Earlier this year the state legislature passed a law to force Charlotte to transfer control of the airport to an independent authority. On Monday, Governor Pat McCrory waded into the issue. In an interview with Charlotte Talks host Mike Collins, McCrory said the airport should be run like a business – by the private sector.

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NC News
5:22 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

State Budget Negotiations Take Major Step Backward

The smiles were absent on Wednesday when House Senior Budget Chairman Nelson Dollar (left) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown (right) clashed over the state budget.

Lawmakers in Raleigh Wednesday took a major step in their budget negotiations.  A step backward.

If there was any sense of congeniality and cooperation at the state capitol it was not found in room 643, where House Senior Budget Chairman Nelson Dollar called to order select members of the House and Senate  to negotiate the now overdue state budget.

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Local News
4:02 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Possible Breakthrough In State Budget Impass

On Wednesday North Carolina’s House and Senate made a major breakthrough on the state’s budget. There’s no finalized deal yet but one of the major issues looks to have been resolved.

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