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Together NC presses lawmakers to adopt a budget that includes new revenue

Together NC is urging lawmakers to restore deep cuts made to the state’s public schools, health services, and environmental protection with the launch of its “North Carolina’s Worth It Campaign.”

The coalition’s plan raises over $1 billion in revenue by temporarily extending the penny sales tax, adding a new income tax bracket on households earning over $1 million annually, and expanding the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit.

“Over the last three years, our state’s public structures – our schools and universities, our health care system, our basic infrastructure – have all taken a hit as a result of deep and largely unnecessary budget cuts,” said Louisa Warren, one of Together NC’s coordinators. “But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can return to a North Carolina that puts more kids into early childhood education, keeps college affordable, and stops our vital infrastructure from crumbling.”

Beth Messersmith, mother of two and coordinator of the North Carolina Chapter of MomsRising.org, reminded lawmakers that investments in programs such as prekindergarten and infant mortality prevention can make a long-lasting difference in the lives of children.

“North Carolinians understand the importance of continuing to invest in our state’s future, even if it requires sharing some of the burden now,” she said. “That’s why North Carolina moms are counting on our lawmakers to do what’s right, and invest in our children.”

Specifically the group is calling on legislators to adopt a plan in the short session that includes:

1. Restoring the temporary penny sales tax increase for one year. This tax measure, which the legislature allowed to expire last year, has been shown to have broad public support. It would raise $1.1 billion in revenue.

2. Expanding the state’s refundable Earned Income Tax Credit. While the sales tax is one of the best sources for immediate and substantial revenue, we also know it hits low-income households the hardest. That’s why we support expanding the EITC for North Carolina’s hardest-working families, to offset the temporary one-cent increase in the sales tax. Expanding North Carolina’s EITC from 5% to 10% of the federal EITC would cost approximately $107 million.

3. Increasing the income tax on millionaires. Currently we have an upside-down tax system, with the poorest North Carolinians paying a larger share of their income in taxes than the richest residents. Adding a top income tax bracket at 8.5% on households earning over $1 million would raise $76 million in new revenue and affect only 5,000 North Carolinians.

You can read more about their campaign here.

Together NC is a collection of more than 120 non-profit organizations, service providers, and professional associations who have come together to promote wise choices for shared prosperity for all North Carolinians.

13 Comments

  1. Frank Burns

    May 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    There is absolutely no enthusiam within the public for any more taxes. No matter how many times you say that, or how many different advocacy groups you trot out there, the answer is the same. No more taxes!

  2. gregflynn

    May 14, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    I’m a member of the public and I disagree Frank. I’m happy to pay taxes because it’s a good ROI. Good schools, good roads, good public services, safe and abundant food supply. Some people have a hard time of it but that’s what the Earned Income Tax Credit is for.

  3. Jack

    May 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    As you know Frank the overarching issue isn’t that taxes are bad or good but whether North Carolinians need to generate revenue to maintain the quality of life that makes North Carolina a great to live.

    As you and your brothers and sisters of the far-right insist on advocating for the deterioration of the state’s infrastructure, whether it is in Health and Human Services, Voting Rights or tunnels and bridges, remember that you’re working to diminish everyone’s quality of life for a political agenda that is discriminatory and therefore by definition self-centered.

  4. Frank Burns

    May 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Greg,
    Your point would be valid if we were not suffering through a recession and it would therefore be counter to a recovery to increase taxes. The middle class is suffering, ok?

    Come back to us when we get people back to work and the economy is in good shape. You might be happy to be taxed more, but most people would not during a recession.

    Jack, same response. You can’t have a good quality of life being taxed to death in a recession.

  5. gregflynn

    May 14, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    The top 1% are not suffering. Put our own people back to work. I talked to a man this morning whose wife is a very qualified, and experienced physics teacher who can’t get a teaching job in Wake County, where science classes are doubled up to cut costs. She is teaching Physics in China making more money. Her skills should be put to use right here.

  6. Jack

    May 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Tell that to people that Amendment One will discriminate against. Again, the policy you support is discriminatory and therefore self-centered.

  7. Frank Burns

    May 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Greg,
    This proposal by the multiple advocacy groups above, includes raising the sales tax. That affects the middle class, so your request is hereby denied.

    Jack, what does Amendment 1 have to do with the price of eggs? If I understand your logic, you want to raise everybody’s taxes because the public voted to pass Amendment 1?

  8. Carolyn

    May 14, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Actually, if we had DEFEATED Amendment 1 and has passed gay marriage instead, we would have had to raise everyone’s taxes. After all, if homosexuals can marry and get the full benefits of marriage, then the rest of the public would have to pay for the increased tax expenditures and actual expenditures related to this (homosexual couples could pay taxes the same as married couples, homosexual employees of the state could give their partners benefits, etc.).

    By the way, the law is SUPPOSED to discriminate. That is what the law does. The law setting the speed limit discriminates against speeders. We have a lot of laws that discriminate against smokers. We also have laws that discriminate against the rich (welfare, progessive income tax), the childless (they have to pay for schools when they don’t have children), the young (voting age, medicare laws), and the blind (they aren’t allowed to drive a car). The key is that the law should not discriminate against similarly situated folks simply because they are in a protected class (but homosexuals are NOT a protected class). Now if homosexuality were reclassified as a disability, then homosexuals would be a protected class but then homosexuality would have to be a mental disorder, which homosexual advocates state (quite rightly, I might add) that it is not.

  9. Jack

    May 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I repeat the policy of austerity that is sweeping the state is discriminatory, self-serving and self-centered. Amendment One in NC is a product of the said public policy you support.

    Amendment One has nothing to do with the price of eggs but what it does have something to do with is the under mining of the state’s infrastructure that makes NC a great state and a great state to live in.

  10. Frank Burns

    May 15, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Jack,
    You need to get Amendment One off of your radar. It’s over. I did not suppport the Amendment but I do choose to move on and stop wringing my hands over it. As I understand your drift, you want to punish the public for that Amendment by raisng their taxes. Your logic does not compute.

  11. […] Also, Together NC, a coalition of more than 120 groups, including the NC Council of Churches, today announced North Carolina’s Worth It, a revenue plan for the legislative session starting this week. For details of the plan, click here. For a report from NC Policy Watch, complete with photographic evidence that I was at the press conference, click here. […]

  12. […] letter comes on the heels of a proposal by the Together NC coalition to raise over $1 billion in revenue by temporarily extending the penny […]

  13. James Burke

    May 22, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Greetings,

    If the tax-base were broadened, you could lower the various rates of tax – that’s the only way to cut tax rates without reducing the revenue required to fund public services.

    You could even take in more revenue – “revenue positive” – whilst still paying lower tax rates.

    This is basic economics.

    Americans mistake making money as the priority, rather than ensuring that the community prospers as a whole.

    In business, some prosper at the expense of others – leaving the latter dead and dying in their wake.

    In economics, it’s about the whole community prospering – not just a particular group.

    It’s “devil take the hindmost” versus “never leave a citizen behind”.

    Economics is the latter.

    Kindest regards,

    James