Editorial: It’s time to rethink NC tax cuts

State budget writers are currently grappling with the task of ironing out a final budget in the face of last year’s huge tax cuts that are hampering our ability to invest in the building blocks of a strong economy. As we entered into the new fiscal year without a revised budget, the News and Observer Editorial Board called upon lawmakers to reconsider their revenue-losing, lopsided tax plan. Here’s more from their editorial that ran over the weekend:

As North Carolina lawmakers struggle to agree on the second year of the state budget, it’s becoming clear that last year’s decision to cut taxes came too early and went too far. The state compressed its three-level personal income tax rates of 6, 7 and 7.75 percent to a flat 5.8 percent and reduced the corporate tax rate from 6.5 to 6 percent.

Had the Republican-led General Assembly held off on these cuts, North Carolina would be enjoying a budget surplus now. There would be money to increase teacher pay without cutting education elsewhere. There would be money to invest in the University of North Carolina and in the state’s neglected roads, bridges and water systems. And there would be money for modest, well-targeted tax cuts.

Instead, the legislature’s Republican leaders and Republican Gov. Pat McCrory cut taxes in a way that is creating an artificial crisis. The state doesn’t have enough money to meet the needs of its growing population and can’t find a sustainable way to lift the public schools teachers’ pay that has sunk to 48th in the nation. In North Carolina, the rich are getting richer as the stock market hits all-time highs and corporations are profiting from a rising economy, but the state has forgone the tax boom that should have come with that recovery.

….

Lawmakers should take another look at taxes and find a way to generate revenues that will meet the state’s needs and support its ambitions.


We agree that state lawmakers must face the reality that they enacted a tax plan that’s making it harder to catch up and keep up with the needs of a growing population. They should halt the next round of income tax cuts that are scheduled to go into effect next January.

4 Comments

  1. Alex

    July 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    My question is why we didn’t do all of those things in the years preceding these tax cuts ? Following your logic,shouldn’t prior Democratic administrations had the funds available for all of those projects since they had more tax money?

  2. ML

    July 7, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    They did before the recession. Republicans just have refused to restore the funding.

  3. Alex

    July 7, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Sorry ML but Perdue was after the recession, and did nothing for the teachers.

  4. ML

    July 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Not sure why I’m asking but here I goes…Alex you do know how government works right? 3 branches, separation of powers all that good stuff?

    The general assembly was controlled by republicans during purdue’s last two years. And her first two years were during the recession. The general assembly passes the budget and the laws. The governor has no power to give raises to teachers or raise funding for education. Although you can blame the democrats for cuts during the recession (keep in mind the republicans at the time wanted deeper cuts) you certainly may not blame Perdue. That’s not political that’s just how things work.