MEDIA RELEASE: Senator Hagan Praised for Helping Pass Middle Class Tax Cut Bill

NC Justice Center Blasts Senator Burr for Voting to Raise Taxes on 25 Million Families

RALEIGH (July 25, 2012) — The North Carolina Justice Center praised Senator Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) for voting today for the Middle Class Tax Cut Act (S. 3412) which the Senate passed today by a narrow 51 to 48 vote, and criticized Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) for voting against it.

The bill would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for 98 percent of state residents who make less than $250,000 in household income, but would end the Bush tax cuts on income above that level, which disproportionately benefit the richest 2 percent.  They give someone who makes more than $1 million a year an average tax break of about $150,000 more than the Middle Class Tax Cut Act does.

“Senator Hagan played a crucial role in passing this bill to help restore fairness to our tax system, which is heavily tilted in favor of the wealthiest Americans at the expense of middle- and lower-income Americans,” said Alexandra Sirota, director of the Budget and Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center, and a member of the Americans for Tax Fairness grassroots campaign of local, state and national groups. “Senator Burr’s vote today shows he’s willing to do almost anything to ensure tax breaks for the richest 2 percent, even if it means ending tax cuts for middle- and lower-income Americans and raising their taxes”

Senator Burr also voted for the GOP alternative bill (S. 3413), which the Senate rejected by a 54 to 45 vote, thanks in part to Senator Hagan’s opposition.  It would have extended all the Bush tax cuts, but would have raised taxes on 25 million middle- and lower-income Americans by ending a tax credit that helps make college affordable (the American Opportunity Tax Credit), the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on a similar version of the GOP Senate bill next week.

“Senator Hagan’s vote in favor of the Middle Class Tax Cut Act proves that she recognizes that it’s time the tax code was fair to everyone who works hard and plays by the rules,” concluded Sirota. “We urge the other members of our state’s congressional delegation to follow her example, and not Senator Burr’s, when the House votes on its Bush tax cuts extension bill.”

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Louisa B. Warren, (919) 856-2183, louisa@ncjustice.org

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