Gov. McCrory’s Panthers-themed campaign ad fumbles the facts on tax hikes for senior citizens

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Governor takes credit for fixing a problem that he himself created by signing tax hikes on seniors into law

RALEIGH -- Just days before Super Bowl 50, Gov. Pat McCrory has released a Carolina Panthers-themed campaign ad that not even Ron Rivera or Cam Newton could lead to victory.

In the video, McCrory claims he “helped seniors with their medical bills” by restoring the tax deduction for medical expenses in last year’s budget -- a deduction which McCrory himself eliminated by signing the 2013 budget into law! In other words, the governor is taking credit for fixing a problem that he himself created.

As the News & Observer pointed out last year, “Many retired people are discovering that the tax cuts are a tax hike. The changes reduced exemptions for pensions and eliminated the deduction for medical expenses. As they do their taxes this spring, seniors are howling when they reach the bottom line.”

After senior citizens across the state rallied against Gov. McCrory’s tax hikes, the medical deduction was restored in the 2015 budget -- but that’s little help to North Carolina taxpayers who are still feeling the pain from last year’s state tax bill.

"As a senior citizen and stroke survivor, I am flagging Gov. McCrory for a personal foul," said Kenton Cowick, 76, of Cary. "The governor claims to have lowered health care costs for seniors, but we got kicked in the teeth with higher state taxes in 2014 when McCrory zeroed out the medical expense tax deduction. Losing the medical expenses deduction was a major reason my 2014 state taxes went up by over 500%.”

“This outrageous distortion of the facts is a ‘Hail Mary’ attempt to whitewash Gov. McCrory’s record of raising taxes on everyday North Carolinians while looking out for corporate sponsors and people at the top,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action. “Gov. McCrory claiming that he helped seniors is like an offensive lineman taking credit for helping you off the turf after he blocked you in the back."

Gov. McCrory also claims in the campaign ad that “Families are paying less in taxes.” However, McCrory has signed three tax hikes on everyday North Carolinians into law in three years with the 2013 sales & income tax changes, his 2015 gas tax hike, and the 2015 sales tax changes.

(And by the way, check out this video of Panthers fans booing Gov. McCrory at the team’s pre-Super Bowl pep rally last week!)

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