Senate leaders turn over Golden Leaf
Most of the details of the latest version of the tax package under consideration by Senate leaders were reported last night and this morning, but one interesting item didn’t make many of the stories.
The Senate revenue plan would divert $90 million a year for the next two years from the Golden Leaf Foundation to the General Fund to help address the budget shortfall.
The Foundation receives half of the state’s annual payment from the national tobacco settlement and makes grants to spur economic development. Golden Leaf is run by Dan Gerlach, who was former Governor Mike Easley’s senior budget adviser.
Senator Dan Clodfelter, one of the primary architects of the Senate tax package, introduced legislation earlier in the session to divert the Golden Leaf money for two years.
The News & Observer reported earlier this month that Golden Leaf had $553 million in assets as of April 30, down from $731 million last year. Losses in the market cost the Foundation $78 million. Another $100 million was paid out in grants, most of it to lure a Spirit Aerosytems plan to the Global Transpark.