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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.

Here’s a perspective the lots more people need to hear about with respect to the ongoing debate over tax policy and “reform”:

Faith, Fairness & Taxes:

When: March 18, 2013 - 12:00 noon

Where: Benson Student Center – 401 B & C

Who: Keynote: Susan Hamill, University of Alabama School of Law

Lunch Will Be Provided (rsvp required)

RSVP: ipe@wfu.edu

Sponsored by: Wake Forest University School of Divinity, the Institute for Public Engagement at Wake Forest University, The North Carolina Council of Churches and the North Carolina Justice Center.

STATEMENT FROM THE BUDGET & TAX CENTER:
McCrory needs to get specific on tax reform

RALEIGH (February 18, 2013) – Governor McCrory didn’t provide specifics for how he would realize his vision for North Carolina this evening.  And while his vision for North Carolina — a high quality of life for all, revitalized communities and infrastructure,  globally competitive businesses — is admirable, whether we get there will depend on how policymakers pursue that vision.

The devil certainly will be in the details. Read More

From today’s WaPo:

“Eighty percent of Americans agree on almost nothing (even Olympic swimming!).

But a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found exactly such consensus on one of the central issues in the debate over the “fiscal cliff”: 85 percent of registered voters, including 77 percent of Republicans, said it was a “bad idea” for members of Congress to promise to “never increase taxes on corporations or the wealthy under any circumstance”.

While not explicitly mentioned in the poll question, the result has been widely interpreted as gauging support for the anti-tax pledge advocated by Grover Norquist and his group, Americans for Tax Reform.”

Read the entire article by clicking here.

 

This New York Times story has been out since last week, but it deserves to be held up again and again over the coming weeks and months.

“[Despite a widespread perception to the contrary]…most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes — federal, state and local — than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their income than it took from households with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980.

Households earning more than $200,000 benefited from the largest percentage declines in total taxation as a share of income. Middle-income households benefited, too. More than 85 percent of households with earnings above $25,000 paid less in total taxes than comparable households in 1980.

Lower-income households, however, saved little or nothing. Many pay no federal income taxes, but they do pay a range of other levies, like federal payroll taxes, state sales taxes and local property taxes. Only about half of taxpaying households with incomes below $25,000 paid less in 2010.”