The last weekend before Tax Day is here and in the last minute rush to get your returns in, it can be helpful to reflect on why taxes matter. Taxes are as some have said “the price we pay for civilized society” and more simply the way in which we invest together in building a stronger state through the creation of opportunity and establishment of a basic quality of life for all North Carolinians.
In the aftermath of the disastrous tax plan that passed last year, just how taxes play a role in our everyday lives has become clearer. Taxes make it possible for our children to have a quality classroom experience, taxes fund monitoring and inspection that protect the quality of our water, taxes build the infrastructure that connect workers to jobs and support business in job creation. And yet, the tax plan has created a self-imposed budget crisis that will undermine our ability to invest in these foundations of a strong economy.
Beyond that fundamental role of funding core public services, who pays under the tax code matters too. And the tax plan passed last year makes an already upside down even worse: low- and middle-income taxpayers pay more as a share of their income than wealthy taxpayers. This not only hurts families who are trying to make ends meet on falling or stagnating wages, it compromises the long term ability of the tax system to fund public services since it taxes where the income growth is not occurring, which creates a gap as needs increases but revenue can’t keep up. Read More