Together NC is calling on legislators to for revenue solutions that make the state tax system more fair and stable over the long-term. The revenue side of the budget process is critical to a host of issues–include early childhood education, which is currently facing signficant cuts. Revenue will be needed if we are to maintain public investments. Today, Together NC is giving the letter below to state legislators.
July 6, 2009
Dear State Leader,
On behalf of the more than 100 organizations that belong to the Together NC coalition, thank you for the countless hours of work you and your colleagues have spent to craft a responsible state budget in the midst of an unprecedented decline in public revenues.
We are so grateful that both the House and Senate revenue plans would raise substantial revenue to avoid the most devastating cuts to public investments. Moreover, we are pleased to hear that the conference budget currently includes more revenue than was proposed in either budget proposal to date. In fact, the tax proposals from each chamber, taken together, include all the elements necessary to create a revenue package that will enable North Carolina to make it through the recession without harming the most vulnerable citizens and without undoing the state’s long-term investments in education and public safety. In addition, such a plan could give the state a more stable and fair tax system for the future.
As the coalition who has been with you all along, calling for not only a balanced approach that includes additional revenues, but also has called for revenue solutions that make the state tax system more fair and stable over the long-term, Together NC wants to be helpful to you in these final days.
To that end we would like to share with you our ideas for how the two competing revenue plans could be most effectively merged. Overall, we support the concepts put forward in the Senate Finance Committee’s draft proposal of broadening the base of the sales tax and personal income tax substantially and lowering some tax rates. We also strongly support the House’s plan to make the personal income tax more progressive by adding an additional tax bracket affecting top income-earners and their proposal to close corporate income tax loopholes. More specifically, we support the following:
- On the personal income tax, adopt the Senate’s base broadening reform, but graft on one of the House’s new proposed upper income brackets. Net revenue benefit: $161 million next year and more than $400 million in ’10-11.
- On the sales tax, again go with the Senate’s base broadening and expansion of the sales tax on electricity – this will be fairer and better for the long-term revenue health. Net benefit: As much as $500 million next year.
- On business taxes, enact all of the changes proposed by the two houses including unitary combined reporting. Net benefit: $183 million next year and $354 million in ’10-11.
- To lessen the regressive impacts of some of the changes on people of modest income, lawmakers should supplement the compromise by doubling the state earned income tax credit (EITC) and considering adoption of an alternative refundable credit for older residents on fixed incomes who do not benefit from the EITC.
Through our town hall meetings around the state, our calls to citizens to take action to call for a responsible budget, and our rally that drew more than 500 participants we are doing all we can to inform this debate and help you make the wisest decisions on behalf of your constituents and the entire state. We hope that you will give full consideration to the proposals outlined above.
The 100+ organizations that make up Together North Carolina