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New from the numbers wonks at the Budget and Tax Center:

Allowing the state Earned Income Tax Credit to expire would harm veterans, active-duty military, a new analysis finds

RALEIGH (July 2, 2013) – About 64,000 veteran and active-duty military families in North Carolina would be impacted by current tax plans, all of which allow the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit to expire. New analysis by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and state-level analysis by the Budget & Tax Center found that tens of thousands of military families in North Carolina would be affected.

The Senate tax plan (HB 998, Fifth edition) being debated later today allows the state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to expire, increasing the tax load on tens of thousands of low-income soldiers, veterans, and their families while the wealthiest taxpayers and profitable corporations get a tax break. Read More

NC Budget and Tax Center

Lawmakers are considering various tax plans that would either convert North Carolina’s personal income tax to a flat rate or phase it out altogether, while making the state more reliant on the sales tax. The result would be a tax shift on the majority of North Carolinians, hitting especially hard those at the bottom of the income ladder.

Legislation already inked into law this session signals that moderate- and low-income working families are not at the top of lawmakers’ list of priorities. In mid-March, the Governor signed a bill to axe North Carolina’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Unless lawmakers reverse course, nearly 907,000 working families—most of them with children to support—will face a tax increase beginning in tax year 2014. Read More

NC Budget and Tax Center

Elizabeth Malm, an economist with the conservative Tax Foundation, yesterday voiced support for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) at a debate about tax reform in North Carolina, highlighting how out-of-touch North Carolina’s leadership is when it comes to its treatment of working families in tax reform efforts.

The EITC, which goes to families that work but struggle to get by due to low wages and helps them pay for basic necessities, has received backing from politicians of all stripes over the years including President Ronald Reagan. It’s not hard to see why since this modest tax credit reduces child poverty, improves kids’ chances of success as adults, and lessens the need for public assistance.

Ms. Malm’s backing of the EITC stands in stark contrast to the actions of Governor McCrory and legislative leadership, who already gave the OK to reduce the state EITC in tax year 2013 and eliminate the tax credit thereafter. This misguided decision will result in a tax hike on more than 900,000 of North Carolina’s lowest-paid workers and their families. Read More

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As part of the generalized War on the Poor that they’ve been waging in recent weeks, state lawmakers have taken aim on the state Earned Income Tax Credit — an efficient program that provides workers earning low wages with a credit to offset their total state and local tax contributions.

Two new items documenting the folly of this action are worth a look this morning:

#1 is this op-ed in today’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer by Budget and Tax Center Director, Alexandra Sirota. As she notes:

“The EITC is an effective tool for keeping children and their families out of poverty, and it helps families keep working and on the path to the middle class.”

#2 is this new interactive infographic on the main Policy Watch site. It allows you to use your computer mouse to hover over any county in the state and get a glimpse of the credit’s impact.

Let’s hope state policymakers start paying attention to these compelling arguments.

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Be sure to check out the Fitzsimon File this morning, where Chris has some of the latest U.S. poverty numbers as well as data surrounding one of the country’s best anti-poverty tools — the Earned Income Tax Credit. Not surprisingly, given the tenor of the 2013 legislative session thus far, the state version of the credit is on the chopping block for conservatives running the General Assembly — i.e. the same folks who are already moving to repeal the estate tax (which only impacts a tiny fraction of the wealthiest estates in North Carolina).