Contractors with unsold homes would get more time to pay property taxes on them in a bill approved by North Carolina lawmakers.
The House agreed by a wide margin Thursday to allow construction firms to defer local property taxes on homes they've been unable to sell for up to three years.
Legislative staff says the bill could delay $35 million in taxes during the first year of the program, which expires in 2013.
Co-sponsor Rep. Harold Brubaker of Randolph County said the deferral would help struggling home builders that are otherwise the backbone of the economy. Rep. Leo Daughtry of Johnston County voted no because he said it would cost his county $1 million in delayed revenues.
The measure now goes to the Senate.