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Senator Bingham Plans To Close Grant Interest Loophole

6:50 PM, Aug 6, 2013   |    comments
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Raleigh, NC -- A legal loophole exposed right here on 2 Wants To Know could soon be closing.

Over the past two weeks, 2 Wants To Know has told you about a pot of money which could help fill budget shortfalls. But state lawmakers can't reach into it because of a loophole. The pot is interest --- generated from state grants given to non-profits. Right now non-profits can keep the interest they make on any un-used grant money, and they can spend it any way they want.

Now a state senator who saw the stories says something has to change. Senator Stan Bingham says he wants to open up that pot of money. He says he plans to file a bill requiring non-profits hand over that interest money just like cities, counties and schools do now.

No one tracks how much extra money lawmakers might have to work with. But the state auditor found at least $20 million in interest in one place -- the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center.

Bingham says he was also troubled by the fact non-profits are financially rewarded when they don't hand out grants.

"They have no incentive to do anything because they're getting interest on the funds. God knows that was good. You did good," he said.

The state senator says he will see if the bill can be submitted for the next short session. That starts in Spring of 2014. Bingham says he's confident the bill should have no trouble passing. He says every lawmaker is looking for ways to use tax dollars more efficiently right now.

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