Statement from Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center, on the budget passage
RALEIGH (June 1, 2018) – A new low has certainly been reached in North Carolina with the passage of this budget. The question now is how much lower will North Carolina’s legislative leadership take our state.
All along, legislative leaders have maintained their commitment to lowering income tax rates to zero. They are getting closer, and our communities and families are hurting as a result.
Now, because they don’t want to deal with the realities of just how damaging their commitment to “low taxes above all else” is, they want to set a new low standard for the legislative process.
They ignored the voices of everyday North Carolinians, of those who teach our children, the needs of our youngest children and oldest residents, and the evidence of what works to grow the economy and connect communities to opportunity.
They raided federal money intended to extend the reach of programming to young children, and they cut off rural counties with high poverty from tools to revitalize. They failed to put state dollars toward health care as needed, and they earmarked millions for special interests rather than invest in services for all. They missed the chance to make genuine progress on investing in each child’s education. This new low is a missed opportunity for our state, made worse by the fact that they kept in place $900 million in new tax cuts that will begin in January 2019 and force more bad choices in the future.
Legislative leaders are willing to lock in their bad ideas no matter the consequences. They could even pursue radical proposals to put their budget ideas into the state Constitution.
Let’s be clear: The consequences are real, life-changing for our neighbors, and damaging to a state that should be seeking the high ground to prosperity.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT Alexandra Sirota, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919.861.1468; Mel Umbarger, Senior Communications Specialist, at email@example.com.
The Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center, conducts non-partisan analysis of state budget and tax policy and monitors economic conditions in the state. We produce timely and accessible research that contributes to policy discussions and public debate, with the goal of building a broader understanding of the role of policy in supporting economic opportunity for all.