Charlotte Observer: Stop Tax Cuts for Wealthy and Pay Teachers
The Charlotte Observer editorial board presents the stark facts about the reckless tax reform bill passed last year that is costing North Carolina hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and making it difficult to give teachers a raise. From their editorial,
You can have your opinion about teacher pay, other spending and tax cuts – we certainly have ours. But here are the facts:
• North Carolina cut personal income taxes and corporate income taxes last Jan. 1. Those tax cuts will reduce state revenue in the current budget year by at least $500 million and possibly by closer to $1 billion. Most of that money went to the state’s wealthiest taxpayers.
• North Carolina is scheduled to cut taxes further this coming Jan. 1. Those cuts will reduce state revenue by about $300 million in the 2015 calendar year, according to the N.C. Budget and Tax Center. Most of that money will go to the state’s wealthiest taxpayers.
• North Carolina ranks 48th in the nation in teacher pay, and dead last on what has happened to teacher pay over the past decade. The legislature would like to give teachers a raise totaling around $400 million, but is struggling to pay for it. All proposals involve cutting elsewhere, and some would lay off thousands of teacher assistants and kick people off Medicaid.
• Both the House and Senate are looking to cut hundreds of millions from K-12 spending for the current fiscal year. According to the Budget and Tax Center, the latest House plan cuts $293 million from the previously enacted 2015 budget and the latest Senate plan cuts $437 million.
In other words, legislators could go a long way toward helping teachers without raising taxes one cent. All they have to do is not cut them even further.
That would be a political winner, and that’s practically a fact.
The Charlotte Observer is right, these tax cuts are harming our ability to invest in public education and they should be repealed. Visit aimhighernownc.com to stand up and help protect public education in North Carolina.