2018 Fiscal Year State Budget, NC Budget and Tax Center

Report: N.C. Senate fails to prepare for federal uncertainty, state’s growing needs

The Budget & Tax Center has released its initial analysis of the N.C. Senate’s budget proposal in a Brief, “N.C. Senate fails to prepare for federal uncertainty, state’s growing needs.” The Brief follows the money to detail missed opportunities for North Carolina in order to give more tax cuts to the wealthy and profitable corporations, and how the Senate pays for its budget with over-collections, federal money and reductions to the UNC system, Public Health, Housing Finance and Environment and Natural Resources, among other programmatic cuts.

You can read the analysis here.

NC Budget and Tax Center

N.C. invests little to prevent child abuse and ultimately pays a higher price

The Budget & Tax Center has released a new BTC Brief, “N.C. invests little to prevent child abuse and ultimately pays a higher price.” Reports of child abuse and neglect have increased 29 percent over the past 19 years in North Carolina, and the report outlines the importance of our fiscal decisions on the goal of protecting each child from abuse and neglect.

“The long-term impact of child abuse—and Adverse Childhood Experiences—is far-reaching; without a commitment to prevention and to effective systems and support for treatment, the effects of childhood abuse can generate a host of lifetime personal and societal costs.”

According to the report, the estimated annual nationwide cost of child abuse and neglect is $80 billion (2012 dollars), while North Carolina’s estimated annual share is $2.3 billion. As the report points out:

“A serious investment upfront to prevent child abuse is not only a moral imperative, it is more cost-effective than making investments after the fact to treat its costlier effects.”

Read more

NC Budget and Tax Center

Report: Constitutional restrictions on revenue hurt state economies. So why is NC proposing one?

A new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) shows how constitutional revenue limits, like the one proposed in North Carolina by the Senate, can impede state economies. From the report:

“A strong state economy requires high-quality public services like schools, public colleges and universities, and well-maintained infrastructure, among other services. Businesses need well-educated and qualified workers. They need convenient and well-functioning roads, bridges, and ports. And they’re more likely to locate in places with a good quality of life that includes publicly financed amenities like parks and libraries.

“Nevertheless, some states are considering building into their state constitutions restrictions on the growth of state revenue that makes such public investments possible. These restrictions can hurt a state’s ability to provide necessary services to its residents and businesses, putting at risk long-term growth and broadly shared prosperity.”

You can read the full report here.

NC Budget and Tax Center

NC tax policy right now, explained in GIFs

In case you haven’t heard, the North Carolina Senate has proposed a tax bill that they claim cuts taxes by $1 billion. They also claim that these tax cuts are mostly going to help middle-income folks out. These claims are both false.

The billion dollar claim is a rounding error that is nearly 20 percent off the mark.

And this tax cut is mostly going to help the wealthy and powerful corporations. Again.

Not to mention, lawmakers also want to permanently change our state constitution so we can’t change the income tax again in the future. That’s just locking in another giveaway to millionaires that cuts off a vital source of revenue.

These choices would mean we won’t have enough to pay for the stuff that makes North Carolina great. Like roads. And schools. And protecting our environment. What happens the next time we have a big storm like Hurricane Matthew that we need to rebuild from? Read more

NC Budget and Tax Center

Statement from Budget & Tax Center on Income Tax Amendment

Statement from Alexandra F. Sirota, Director, Budget & Tax Center 

Senate Bill 75 passed off the Senate floor today in a move by state lawmakers that once again limits the possibilities for North Carolina. The bill seeks to make an unnecessary amendment to the state Constitution that will harm North Carolina’s future prosperity and the democratic process. 

The proposal will lock in what is essentially a giveaway to millionaires and likely shift the state’s reliance to the sales tax, while also putting more pressure on local governments to raise property taxes. This has always been a bad idea for North Carolina, and it still is.

By placing a low and arbitrary income tax cap into our state constitution, lawmakers are taking democracy out of the budget process. They are aiming to lock in their desired choices and limit the choices of North Carolinians tomorrow, 10 years from now and 100 years from now.  Under this amendment, lawmakers elected by North Carolina’s future voters will not have the tools to meet our state’s future needs.

This unnecessary bill shows a lack of responsibility for the common good. It will make progress impossible on shared goals such as improving teacher pay, ensuring every child is reading by third grade, and providing health and mental care to North Carolinians who need it. The results will be costly for us all and our state.