Long-Delayed Budget Deal Ignores the $680 Million Elephant in the Room

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Legislative leaders refuse to acknowledge the failure of their reckless tax handouts to big corporations and the wealthy 

RALEIGH -- Nearly a month past their June 30 deadline, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger finally announced a budget deal on Tuesday that completely ignores the gaping budget hole created by their reckless tax cuts which primarily benefit corporations and the wealthy.

At no point during their 45-minute press conference did the Republican leaders acknowledge the failure of their reckless tax handouts to the rich, which will cost the state a whopping $680 million in lost revenue during this year alone. That’s 43% higher than the original forecast, despite GOP promises that the actual number would be even lower.

As fiscal experts warned, tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthy have not translated to more tax revenue. That means pay raises for teachers must be balanced on the backs of those who depend on Medicaid, yet lawmakers refused to disclose specifics of those cuts.

“Lawmakers can use all the budget gimmicks they want to hide the job-killing cuts contained in their budget, but at some point they’ll have to face reality,” said Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress North Carolina Action. “The Republican plan to magically increase revenue by giving rich people more money has failed, and our budget hole will only get deeper until their reckless handout scheme is reversed.”

Despite Gov. McCrory’s 2013 State of the State promise that any tax reform "must be revenue neutral," the General Assembly’s ill-advised handout scheme was originally projected to decrease revenue by $2.5 BILLION over five year year. Now, it looks like that number will be even higher -- and even more handouts for the rich are coming.

“It’s time for the General Assembly to pull its head out of the sand and acknowledge the failure of their reckless handout scheme,” added Brenner. “These tax cuts shovel money at the wealthy, but they have been terrible for North Carolina’s working-class taxpayers. The legislature needs to cut its losses and repeal these irresponsible giveaways before it’s too late.”

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