RALEIGH (July 22, 2015) – This morning, North Carolinians from across the state delivered a petition calling on lawmakers to listen to them – and not the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – when it comes to budget and tax choices. Now is the time to invest, not cut, petition signers told lawmakers.

Last week, legislative leadership named conferees from the North Carolina House and Senate to hash out a budget plan. Advocates and every day North Carolinians spoke out today against the corporate tax cuts that serve as the cornerstone of both budgets, despite the stark differences between the two proposals. The cuts would cost North Carolinians $458 million over the biennium and more than $500 million annually thereafter.

The national group ALEC, which starts its annual conference today in San Diego, CA, has designed many of the policies, such as tax cuts, low investments for protecting our communities, and giveaways to big corporations, that have moved North Carolina backwards, speakers said.

“The disproven theory that corporate tax cuts help our economy move forward is economic snake oil that ALEC sells to state legislators around the country,” said Tazra Mitchell, a policy analyst with the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center. “These policies are a prescription for poor results that hinder the ability of our state to set up a foundation for future growth.”

More than 6,000 North Carolinians signed a petition telling lawmakers to stop these very tax cuts that put the state’s future at risk. This morning, as several North Carolina legislators participated in the ALEC conference, petition signers shared their perspective on why investments are critical to building a strong North Carolina and an economy that works for everyone.

Here are a few of the ways speakers voiced their support for reinvestment in high quality education, quality care for our seniors, protection of our natural resources, efficient courts, and the revitalization of all our communities:

  • “I am a mother and a North Carolinian,” Melea said. “My NC Budget helps connect all children in our state to high quality early care and education opportunities by providing child care subsidies to those families who need them.”
  • “I am a student and a North Carolinian,” Akanksha said. “My NC Budget invests in high quality teachers that will prepare me for college.”
  • “I am a community activist and a North Carolinian,” Patty said. “And my NC Budget funds NC Pre-K for each eligible child so that every child is kindergarten ready.”
  • “I am a woman and a taxpaying North Carolinian,” Yevonne said. “And my NC Budget funds state universities that educate and train our future leaders, places where new cures for chronic diseases will be found, places where new technologies will help us overcome society’s grand challenges.”
  • “I am a teacher and a North Carolinian,” NaShonda said. “My NC budget invests in teachers by providing well-equipped classrooms, a good salary, and health benefits during retirement.”

After the press conference, speakers delivered the petition and a sign-on letter from 17 organizations representing tens of thousands of individuals who reject the approach that tax cuts will grow North Carolina’s economy.

“The choice to listen to ALEC over North Carolinians is the wrong one for our state,” Mitchell said. “More tax cuts will not allow us to reinvest in the building blocks of a strong economy.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Amber Moodie-Dyer, amber@ncjustice.org, 919.856.2176; Julia Hawes, Julia@ncjustice.org, 919.863.2406.