RALEIGH (June 1, 2017) — A new report on the N.C. House’s proposed budget follows the money, looking at how the House addresses, or fails to address, key public investments in North Carolina as well as the federal uncertainty brought on by cost shifts in Medicaid and food assistance, among other core public program and service cuts to the state from the federal level. The report, produced by the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center, was written by Alexandra F. Sirota, BTC Director, and Cedric Johnson, BTC Policy Analyst. Some of the key points in the report:
- The House budget continues to move away from historic levels of investment relative to the state’s economic health.
- The House pays for its budget with over-collections, one-time money, and reductions to public services and institutions.
- Missing opportunities now when the economy is growing will only make it more difficult for the state and families to contend with proposed federal cuts.
- The NC General Assembly must plan for the federal government’s proposed cost shift to states.
“In the face of significant federal cost shifts and growing needs in our state, North Carolina must be deliberate and thoughtful in preparing for a long-term trajectory that can sustain thriving communities,” said Cedric Johnson, BTC Policy Analyst. “Failure to do so will mean that unmet needs become worse and our state becomes less competitive as a result.”
Read Alexandra Sirota’s statement on the House’s proposed budget, released yesterday, below.
Statement from Alexandra Sirota, Budget & Tax Center Director, on the House budget: Tax cuts for wealthy, corporations threaten quality of life for all North Carolinians
North Carolina lawmakers should not have to choose between the House or Senate budget. Instead, they should choose to do what is right for our state.
While the House has taken a more prudent approach by cutting taxes less than the Senate, there will still be unmet needs and missed opportunities across North Carolina as a result of more tax cuts and the continued loss year after year from tax cuts passed since 2013. In the face of proposed federal funding cuts as well as unmet needs for rebuilding Eastern NC after Hurricane Matthew, these cumulative losses will be compounded.
The potential of promoting the well-being of all North Carolinians and a high quality of life in every community is threatened without reconsidering the current approach that privileges tax cuts for the wealthy and profitable corporations over investments in thriving places.
Each year that our lawmakers fail to fully review and debate the tax changes and their impacts is another year that we are missing an opportunity to assess our priorities and our commitment to build a stronger economy for everyone. Our leaders can choose to improve classroom experiences for every child, revitalize the main streets of every community and promote the health and well-being of families and seniors.
It is no longer enough to stop cutting taxes year after year, although that remains the first step to be taken. It is time for policymakers to get serious about the unmet needs in North Carolina and choose to create a tax code that meets the needs of North Carolina today and in the future.