Blue slipIn case you’ve lost count, today is Day #289 on the Richard Burr Blue Slip Watch. It’s been nearly ten months since President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Jennifer May-Parker to fill what is the longest-standing vacancy in the federal court system in North Carolina’s Eastern District. Unfortunately, as we have reported repeatedly on this site, Burr is blocking consideration of May-Parker unilaterally and refusing to say why. It’s a disgraceful situation that is made only worse by the fact that May-Parker would be the first African-American and only the second woman to serve on the federal bench in the Eastern District in its history.

And speaking of inexcusable behavior by North Carolina elected officials, commentator Marena Groll of ENC Weekly did a great job this week of skewering Gov. McCrory and the General Assembly over the state’s worst-in-the-nation tax policy changes.

And speaking of the state’s misguided economic policies, Read More


This is from this morning’s Fayetteville Observer:

“The state’s fiscal year began last week, but it did so without benefit of a new budget. That’s on hold until the House and Senate can agree on much-needed changes in the tax code.

Unfortunately, the two legislative bodies are miles apart in their tax plans and appear determined to stay that way for a while. Until they settle on the way they’ll tax us, they can’t move forward on the way they’ll spend the money.

The Senate did blink last week. It passed a watered-down version of its tax plan Wednesday. But even that modified bill may be stronger medicine than many state interests want to take. It eliminates corporate income taxes over the next few years and cuts personal income taxes to a flat 5.75 percent.

Legislative analysts conclude that the measure will be most beneficial to the wealthy. Read More


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

If the Senate tax plan moves forward, it is very likely that many low- and middle-income taxpayers will see their tax loads increase .

The Senate plan, in addition to the House Plan, do not include the Earned Income Tax Credit, the best tool for ensuring that working low- and middle-income taxpayers are not carrying a heavier tax load than their wealthy neighbors. This decision by Senate and House leadership to end the Earned Income Tax Credit will impact more than 907,000 North Carolinians.

When you look at the Senate plan combined with the end of the state Earned Income Tax Credit and keep in place the local tax on groceries, it’s clear that low-income working families would pay more, while the rich pay less.BTC_Tax Shift Continues_Senate Tax Plan Read More


Just in from the good people at LWV-NC:

League Opposes Tax Plans

The League of Women Voters of North Carolina, meeting in Charlotte for its 34th biennial convention, announced its opposition to tax plans now being considered in the General Assembly which promote unfair and regressive tax policies, including House Bill 998.  This opposition is in line with long-standing positions of the non-partisan organization.

The League, which led the successful state-wide campaign to repeal the tax on food in the 1990’s, expressed concern that the tax plans being considered in the General Assembly will actually impede, rather than deliver, economic growth, job creation and the quality of life for NC citizens. Read More