The North Carolina Senate’s budget contains very few surprises. Their proposal includes more corporate and personal income tax cuts, which follows the trend of the last several years. In fact, NC lawmakers have been so consistent about pursuing costly tax cuts that they’ve lost the state about $3 billion in revenue.
$3 billion is a lot of money, and it could buy a whole lot of things that would help our community more than tax cuts for the wealthy. Things like:
Eliminating child poverty
Half a million children in North Carolina are growing up in poverty. $3 billion would more than cover the $3,000 each child’s family would need to gain financial security.
Raising teacher pay to the national average
North Carolina now ranks 35th in the nation for average teacher pay, with an average salary of $49,837. This is an improvement over the last few years, but we’re still not close enough to our goal of reaching the national average. Doing that would take $1 billion.
Closing the racial poverty gap
Sixteen percent of the state lives below the poverty line, but the rates are much higher in communities of color. It would take $1.2 billion to move 411,000 people of color in North Carolina out of poverty and close the racial poverty gap.
Providing pre-K for all eligible children
There are currently 40,000 children in North Carolina eligible for pre-k but not receiving services. Placing all of those children in pre-k would cost $191 million each year, and would provide them with long-term education and earnings benefits.
Here's what NC could do with the $3bn our lawmakers gave to the wealthy #wrongchoiceNC Click To Tweet—–
Our lawmakers could be building thriving communities and creating budgets that actually respond to our state’s needs. But since they’ve chosen to lose billions for the sake of tax cuts for the wealthy, now they literally can’t afford to make the right choices anymore.