NC Budget and Tax Center, News

STATEMENT FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RICK GLAZIER: Tricks with no treats for North Carolinians

RALEIGH (October 31, 2019) – The NC General Assembly leadership voted to leave Raleigh today after once again voting to slash taxes for big corporations while failing to give teachers and state employees the raises they deserve, leaving hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians without Medicaid coverage and failing to invest in thriving communities across the state.

Legislative leaders’ refusal to put forward a comprehensive final budget that addresses North Carolina’s ongoing needs puts our state on worse footing for the future.

After a session that saw underhanded sneak votes and the rejection of broadly popular policies to extend health coverage and improve public education, legislators are leaving many North Carolina families and communities behind.

Ignoring dramatic need and widespread popular demand, the legislature refused to expand Medicaid, leaving hundreds of thousands of low-income North Carolinians without coverage and threatening the survival of many rural hospitals.

This Halloween, the Republican leadership was all tricks and no treats.

By moving forward with legislative proposals, like the franchise tax cut that failed in House Finance but was revived by leadership late last night, legislative leaders have once again demonstrated their priority is big business, not everyday North Carolinians.

Bucking their prior stance against subsidizing the film industry, they moved to allow large film and television production companies to receive even more lucrative grants.

Despite rising public health concerns around vaping and the potential of parity in the taxation of these tobacco products at similar levels as cigarettes to address some of those concerns, legislative leaders listened to the tobacco industry and refused to act.

By expanding sales taxes on online purchases and not making up for it with other tax law changes, legislative leaders voted to keep our tax code upside-down.

To make matters even worse, legislative leaders passed tax cuts for big businesses while cynically claiming we couldn’t afford more healthy raises for educators. Leadership kept teacher pay raises far short of what is needed to retain and attract talent, undermining our children’s access to quality education. The proposed raise leaves teacher pay below its modest pre-recession levels, leaves teachers with a giant pay deficit compared to equally educated professionals in different jobs, and tries to pit teachers against other vital needs in the state budget.

The General Assembly has prioritized tax cuts for big business even as they have failed to enact a comprehensive final budget which creates a pathway to a stronger North Carolina. Once again, legislative leaders placed ideology and the demands of wealthy corporations over the needs of everyone else in the state.

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