Death and taxes, we joke that both are inevitable, and that's true in one sense. We DO have indirect control over our taxes through our elected legislators, though! No one loves paying taxes, but we all appreciate and expect many of the services funded by tax revenue. Want to find out who pays what in taxes? NC Policy Watch can tell you. You'll see that in NC, as in the country, "our tax system has grown increasingly unfair and tilted in favor of the rich. Over the last few decades, trillions of dollars that would and should have gone toward essential public services and structures have instead gone into the pockets of the top 1%." The Republican emphasis on cutting taxes and decreasing public investments will mean more pain for North Carolinians when (not if) the next recession hits.
We'll start with a tax bill we support! H667, Local Option Sales Tax Flexibility, would provide local governments with flexibility in the use of a ¼ cent sales tax. Currently, counties have an option to increase their sales tax by ¼ cent to fund transit; this bill would allow them to use that ¼ cent to fund other projects approved by voters (eg, school construction, teacher supplements, beach nourishment) instead. The NCGA has stripped local governments of power since the Republicans took control in 2011, this is a rare bill that actually gives counties and local voters control to decide what their communities want to do with that extra sales tax revenue. The bill passed the House last week and heads to the Senate. You can let your NC state senator know you support this. More from WRAL.
Two other tax proposals we support, but that haven't moved an inch this session - let your NC legislators know you'd like to see these bills considered and enacted:
Millionaire’s Tax. North Carolinians with the lowest income pay 9.5 percent in total taxes as a percentage of their income, while the top 1 percent of North Carolina earners pay only 6.4 percent. It is time for the wealthy and big corporations to pay their share to fund our state.
Reinstate Earned Income Tax Credit, H238/S50. Tax credits for working families help improve health, education, and well-being outcomes for claiming families. Bottom-Up Tax Cut, Two Competing Tax Cut Proposals Symbolize NC's Ideological Debate.
Here's a big one one we don't support: S622, Tax Reduction Act of 2019. There's not much that gets Republicans more excited than cutting taxes, regardless of the impact on crucial services - like public education, environmental protection, public safety, infrastrucure, broadband, disaster relief, the list goes on. They aver that tax cuts stimulate the economy, though without providing evidence. In fact, the evidence points in the opposite direction - their tax cuts have benefitted wealthy individuals and already profitable companies and left the rest of us holding bake sales to buy supplies for our kids' classrooms and going without the health care that could be provided by Medicaid expansion, to pull two examples out of the hat.
S622 would slightly increase the standard deduction for personal income taxes and cut the franchise tax for corporations. By 2022, this tax package is projected to reduce general fund revenues by over $200 million. "Analysis shows that, of the total net tax cut from the increase in the standard deduction, 27 percent will actually go to the top 20 percent while just 7 percent will go to the bottom 20 percent, whose income leaves them in poverty each year." NC Policy Watch. The NC Justice Center supports reforming, not eliminating, the franchise tax for corporations: "The franchise tax plays a vital role as an alternative minimum corporate tax that funds important priorities across the state. If a corporation manages to zero-out its corporate income tax liability because of tax breaks and loopholes, ... the franchise tax ensures that corporation will pay a modest amount of tax to the state to support the state services and infrastructure from which they benefit..." More from WRAL. The bill passed the Senate and heads to the House. Let your NC state representative know that you don't support 622.
Here's a reward for staying alert through all this talk of taxes, playing pandas!
Tags: (NC budget, ncga, ncpol)
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