Buncombe County Rep. Tim Moffitt has been ranked the second most business friendly legislator in the state by the North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation.
The business group decided the legislator ratings by analyzing a variety of votes on issues related to taxation, government regulation, civil liability and private property rights. It also took into account "how accessible they were for information sharing and discussion," as determined by "a confidential survey among more than 400 business leaders and government affairs professionals representing a multitude of business interests across North Carolina," according to its Oct. 2 report.
Moffitt, a Republican, is currently serving out his second term in the Statehouse, representing District 116, which encompasses much of western Buncombe County. He was awarded a rating of 95.65, just short of Harnett County Rep. David Lewis, who was ranked number one with a rating of 96.34.
The North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation describes itself as a "nonprofit organization that provides innovative educational programs, non-partisan political research, and objective analysis to foster informed civic involvement, develop, an understanding of the free enterprise economy, and strengthen North Carolina's prosperous business environment." The group receives much of its funding from the conservative Pope Foundation, according to WRAL.
The foundation ranked Buncombe County Republican Rep. Nathan Ramsey 28th in the state, with a score of 88.52. He represents District 115, which includes Fairview, Black Mountain and Weaverville.
Buncombe County Democratic Rep. Susan Fisher is near the bottom of the group's list, ranked 117 out of the Statehouse's 120 legislators. She represents District 116, which encompasses the city of Asheville.
In addition, Republican Sen. Tom Apodoca of Hendersonville was ranked the second most business friendly member of the N.C. Senate (he earned a score of 90.3). And Democratic Sen. Martin Nesbitt of Asheville was ranked 43 out of a total of 50 N.C. senators, earning a score of 36.33.
The report notes that with Republicans securing super-majority control in both chambers of the N.C. General Assembly, "expectations were high at the start of the 2013 Session for a very positive legislative environment from a free enterprise point of view."
However, it concludes: "The fractious relationship that emerged between the state Senate leadership and Gov. McCrory, and between House and Senate leadership, cast a long shadow over issues discussed and debated during the 2013 Session. … While the legislature did tackle many substantive issues important to promoting and sustaining a positive business climate in the state, such tensions hampered consideration of a fuller complement of business-oriented proposals."