Falling Behind in NC

Falling Behind in NC, NC Budget and Tax Center

North Carolina’s revenues are slowly recovering but still deeply damaged by the recession. Regaining the ground that we have lost will be more difficult in the coming years because state lawmakers are pursing deep and lopsided tax cuts that will put at risk the critical public services that help build the engines of long-term economic growth.

It is unquestionable that there is a lot of ground to be regained—especially when it comes to investing adequately in the health, safety, education, and economic security of families and children. The current state budget for health and human services (HHS) is proof. Read More

Falling Behind in NC, NC Budget and Tax Center

For more than a century, North Carolinians have pooled their resources to invest in great achievements, including a statewide K-12 system, the oldest public university system in the country, transportation infrastructure and a lot more. Taxes matter for the economy and society that we all enjoy so how the state government raises the billions of dollars that fuel the state budget is very important.

And, the ability of the state tax system to grow with the economy and keep up with the cost of public services and the changing needs of the population is critical. Yet, this continues to be a missing part of the debate over the impact of tax plans under consideration

Senate and House leadership say that their plans merely slow the rate of state spending to around 3 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, compared to the long-run average of 4.8 percent. A 1.5 percentage point drop and a .3 percentage point drop in the revenue growth rate sound innocuous at first glance, but further analysis shows just how devastating this would be. Read More

Falling Behind in NC, NC Budget and Tax Center

Thanks in large part to the rebound in the personal income tax, North Carolina is finally experiencing a slight uptick in revenues as the tepid economy slowly improves. Yet, at the first sign of revenues recovering, state lawmakers are pursuing tax policies that will pull back investments prematurely. North Carolina is already in a hole, and the tax plans being debated would make it very difficult for the state to dig itself out, make progress on unmet needs, and move forward.

These tax plans cut taxes for the wealthy and profitable businesses at the expense of everyone else. Proponents claim that these deep and lopsided cuts will create jobs and benefit everyone, but research simply does not support this conclusion. Read More

Falling Behind in NC, NC Budget and Tax Center

The North Carolina House approved a budget last week that would chart the wrong path for North Carolina, according to a new brief released by the N.C. Budget & Tax Center. Similar to their colleagues in the Senate, the House leadership was intent on including tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations in their budget at the expense of everyone else. The result is a budget that falls far short of meeting the needs of children, working families and communities across major budget areas.

In the House tax and budget plan, these tax cuts will cost $528.6 million in lost revenue over the next two years, with the cost ballooning to $651.1 million annually once the plan is fully implemented in the 2018 fiscal year. These figures represent the net tax changes of the House tax plan plus the repeal of the estate tax. Even worse, 95 percent of taxpayers, on average, would see their taxes go up in addition to cuts in vital public services under the House’s formula for “prosperity.” Read More

Falling Behind in NC, NC Budget and Tax Center

Late last evening, the House leadership released their full $20.6 billion budget proposal (with money report) for the next fiscal biennium. This proposal includes a placeholder for their long-awaited tax reform plan, which anticipates deep reductions in tax rates and significant revenue losses, putting North Carolina on an unfortunate path to mediocrity.  Along with the effort to repeal the estate tax, the House tax plan represents a major tax shift and would strip the state of more than $525 million that could be used to fund vital public services, help get North Carolinians back to work, and build a strong economy.

North Carolina cannot afford to pay for tax cuts for the top at the expense of teacher layoffs, growing waiting waits for critical public services, and higher tuition rates. As the chart below illustrates, state spending under the House proposal would continue to remain well below pre-recession levels even though spending over the base budget would slightly increase thanks to the slight uptick in revenue. See this chart to see how the House proposal compares to the Senate and Governor’s proposals. Read More