Uncategorized

To get to a budget deal, stop the 2015 tax cuts

This morning’s edition of Setting the record straight over on the main Policy Watch website has some rare praise for the surprisingly progressive rhetoric emanating from state budget negotiations this week. But it also takes lawmakers to task for their failure to seize upon the most obvious solution to their inability to find a way to fund the essential services (i.e. teachers and health care) that they have prioritized. The best answer to the General Assembly’s budget dilemma, of course, is to halt next January’s scheduled tax cut that will primarily benefit the rich:

“According to the best and most recent estimates, the 2013 tax cuts – which overwhelmingly favor the state’s most wealthy taxpayers – are costing the state more than $500 million in foregone revenue in the fiscal year that began last week. Add to this the fact that the cuts have caused a downward revision of revenue projections by another $190 million and the gap may well balloon to more than $700 million.

Even if lawmakers left these cuts in place, however, and merely stopped the implementation of a yet another round of tax cuts scheduled to take effect next January, the state would still realize $300 million in additional revenue in calendar year 2015 – more than enough to make a significant dent in the education shortfall and solve innumerable problems in the current negotiations.”

Meanwhile, this morning’s lead editorial in the Charlotte Observer has another quick fix proposal — at least on teacher pay:

How to pay for it: This is where budget negotiators have the most work to do. House negotiators need to abandon the fantasy of paying for teacher raises by increasing lottery advertising and hoping more people play. Senate negotiators should abandon the notion of paying for the raises in part by cutting 7,000 teacher assistants. The latter would mean offering teachers more money but making their jobs harder and hurting their classrooms.

A reasonable alternative: The McCrory/Tillis plan relies on $116 million from past-year lottery surpluses, plus $81.6 million once earmarked for reserves. At the least, teacher raises shouldn’t be paid for by inflicting pain on other critical resources or programs.”

Unfortunately, of course, such a “solution” only invites another budget crisis next year — something the Observer ought to anticipate since the editorial goes on to argue persuasively that lawmakers also need to have a real long-term target on teacher pay.

Sigh. Stay tuned.

www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/07/09/5033720/how-to-craft-a-teacher-pay-plan.html#.U75rs0Af6So#storylink=cpy

 

Check Also

National think tank: Why Raleigh should be among top five Amazon finalists

There are lots of legitimate concerns about Raleigh’s ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Nothing is off the table when it comes to Republican judicial reform, and a former Wake County judge [...]

On a cozy autumn evening at the luxurious Umstead Hotel in Cary, a medley of corporate luminaries, s [...]

A fix for North Carolina’s class size crisis in March? A GOP senator from Wake County tells his cons [...]

Back in September, the N.C. Historical Commission put off a decision on removing three Confederate m [...]

It was a snowy and shortened work week for a lot of people in North Carolina, but unfortunately, tha [...]

Mounting student debt is a nagging problem for most families these days. As the cost of higher educa [...]

Latest racist attacks on immigrants could be an important tipping point As bleak as our national pol [...]

Grand constitutional questions in this country aren’t settled until the Supreme Court has its say, e [...]

Upcoming Events

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more