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

The best editorial of the weekend

The Republican power grabs just keep on a ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Conference comes a day after new report lauds benefits of same-day registration The new line-up for [...]

North Carolina’s largest public school system may be warning of “enormous disruptions” without speed [...]

Carol Turner hadn’t lived in North Carolina long before last November’s election. A retired nurse, s [...]

Controversy over class-size requirements in early grades has emerged as the biggest issue facing Nor [...]

To casual observers, the recent controversy surrounding public school class-size mandates in grades [...]

3,000---minimum number of K-3 teachers that school districts will have find to comply with the Gener [...]

The post ‘Backroom politics’ brewing appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

The wisdom of the plan by Senate leaders to cut taxes by $839 million was called into question this [...]

Featured | Special Projects

Trump + North Carolina
In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.
Read more


HB2 - The continuing controversy
Policy Watch’s comprehensive coverage of North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBT law.
Read more