MEDIA RELEASE: Poll shows bipartisan opposition to tax cuts that harm education

Strong support exists for funding public schools and investing in an educated workforce

RALEIGH (Nov. 20, 2013) – A new poll commissioned by the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center, shows that a strong majority of North Carolinians oppose tax cuts that put at risk the state’s investment in public education. A majority of North Carolinians also deem a quality workforce rather than low corporate taxes as a more important way to attract businesses to the state.

The polling firm Public Policy Polling surveyed 701 likely voters in North Carolina from Nov. 8-11, 2013 to gauge support for the tax plan signed by Gov. Pat McCrory earlier this year.

When presented with the option to cut funding for public schools in order to provide taxpayers a tax cut, 68 percent of North Carolinians oppose such a move. This opposition was strong across ideology. Among poll respondents who considered themselves somewhat liberal, 84 percent oppose such tax cuts and 56 percent of respondents who considered themselves somewhat conservative.

The tax plan passed this legislative session reduced available revenue by $525 million over the next two years and in future years will further reduce available dollars.  These dollars, if invested in education, could have allowed for significant progress towards meeting student and classroom needs by funding 1 in 5 teacher assistants, instructional support, textbooks and a 1 percent increase in teacher pay.

The poll also finds that 62 percent of North Carolinians deem a quality workforce rather than low corporate taxes as a more important way to attract businesses to the state. This preference was consistent across gender and political party affiliation, with a majority of women (60%), men (64%), Democrats (69%), Republicans (52%), and Independents/Other (59%) favoring an educated workforce over low corporate taxes.

“The poll highlights that when presented with the real trade-offs, the majority of North Carolinians favor investing in public education and building a quality workforce that can compete for good-paying jobs rather than cutting taxes,” said Alexandra Sirota, director of the Budget & Tax Center.  “This preference extends across political affiliation, gender, and age.”

Full poll results are available here: www.ncjustice.org/?q=budget-and-tax/poll-results-nov-2013

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Alexandra F. Sirota, alexandra@ncjustice.org, 919.861.1468; Amber Moodie-Dyer, amber@ncjustice.org, 919.856.2176; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615 (cell).

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