Don’t miss today’s Charlotte Observer op-ed by BTC Director Alexandra Forter Sirota.
Updating our revenue system is something North Carolina needs to do anyway. The lasting impacts of the recession only make the issue a higher priority. To save jobs, this is something our state simply must do. Sirota writes:
More cuts – on top of the cuts from 2010, on top of still more cuts from 2009 – will further reduce the state’s capacity to serve communities and families, result in public- and private-sector job loss, and fail to set the state on a sustainable path to supporting long-term economic growth.
North Carolina’s policymakers must recognize that there is a choice to be made in the upcoming budget process. Choosing to make $3.7 billion in cuts will kick the problem further down the road. Choosing to reform the state’s revenue system would position North Carolina to weather future financial crises and ensure adequate support for public structures. Leading economists have found that it would be far less harmful to raise revenue than cut programs and services when trying to rebuild an economy.
For further reading, here are eight strategies we can use to close the budget gap.
Right and left alike should agree that a revenue system designed for a 1930 economy isn’t going to work in 2011. Preserving critical public structures preserves jobs, and that should be priority one.