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What we expect to be true in the soon-to-be released final budget deal
Posted By Tazra Mitchell On July 29, 2014 @ 11:36 am In NC Budget and Tax Center | Comments Disabled
Budget writers announced over the weekend that the Senate and House leadership agreed to a basic framework  for a final budget deal. That framework includes a pay raise for teachers averaging roughly 7 percent and further cuts to the Medicaid program that provides health insurance and long-term care to children and adults who are poor, disabled, and elderly . There is no question that other vital programs and services will be cut due to a lack of adequate funding, resulting from lawmakers’ choice to make room for unaffordable tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable businesses in 2013.
While the full details of the final budget deal will not be released until this afternoon at 1:30pm, below are five things we expect to be true in the final budget deal:
There are better choices available that will put North Carolina on a stronger path to recovery for children, families, and communities across the Tarheel state. For starters, lawmakers need to face the reality that we can’t afford further tax cuts and stop the income tax cuts that are scheduled to go into effect next January. Doing so will save approximately $100 million in the current fiscal year and $300 million in the 2015 calendar year. These revenues would go a long way towards reversing the most damaging cuts that were enacted in the aftermath of the Great Recession. That’s a short-term fix. A longer term fix requires restoring the progressive personal income tax structure so that revenues are stable and more adequate.
Until then, lawmakers would be wise to consider using funds from the Rainy Day Fund to plug the gap and stop further budget cuts. A smaller education budget and further cuts to public health programs is proof that it’s still raining. The route of using savings to plug the gap is merely a short-term and unsustainable fix that won’t solve our problems in future years. The only viable solution is for lawmakers to reevaluate last year’s tax plan and to pass true tax reform.
Advocates are running a petition to stop further tax cuts because they are unaffordable. For more information, click here .
Article printed from The Progressive Pulse: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org
URL to article: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/07/29/what-we-expect-to-be-true-in-the-soon-to-be-released-final-budget-deal/
URLs in this post:
 basic framework: http://www.wral.com/budget-writers-reach-agreement-on-framework/13843539/
 provides health insurance and long-term care to children and adults who are poor, disabled, and elderly: https://twitter.com/ncbudgetandtax/status/486897482514051073/photo/1
 previous damaging cuts that have been enacted: http://www.ncjustice.org/?q=budget-and-tax/btc-reports-2013-2015-final-budget-putting-north-carolina-path-mediocrity
 tax plan is costing at minimum $200 million more year than initially expected: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/07/25/income-tax-cuts-costs-more-than-originally-projected-according-to-fiscal-research-division/
 State spending at $21 billion would continue to be a shrinking part of the economy: https://twitter.com/ncbudgetandtax/status/487232854938882049
 will come on top of last year’s deep cuts: http://www.ncjustice.org/sites/default/files/BTC%20Reports%20-%20%20Final%20Budget%20-%202013.pdf
 here: http://act.progressnc.org/sign/tax_giveaway_petition/?ak_proof=1&t=2&referring_akid=.167250.1Otqr-
 Budget deal released: Tax cuts and tight revenues are making it hard to meet Tar Heel priorities : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/07/31/budget-deal-released-tax-cuts-and-tight-revenues-are-making-it-hard-to-meet-tarheel-priorities/
 Governor orders budget cuts in case budget standoff lingers beyond end of fiscal year : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/06/25/governor-orders-budget-cuts-in-case-budget-standoff-lingers-beyond-end-of-fiscal-year/
 Progress made in conference budget negotiations, hashed out in rare public debate : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/07/02/progress-made-in-conference-budget-negotiations-hashed-out-in-rare-public-debate/
 Time to Call a Spade a Spade: Public education and health programs face the chopping block because we can’t afford last year’s tax plan : http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/07/16/time-to-call-a-spade-a-spade-public-education-and-health-programs-face-the-chopping-block-because-we-cant-afford-last-years-tax-plan/
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