Yesterday, the Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill to cut personal and corporate income taxes and other business taxes by more than $2 billion over the next two years. When Senator Wiley Nickel introduced an amendment to keep the corporate tax rate in place and used the revenue for child care, saying 92% of corporate taxes are paid by out-of-state corporations, it was voted down by Republicans. Once again it is clear that North Carolina Republicans push for tax cuts for the wealthy while ignoring working families. In striking contrast, Governor Cooper’s budget invests in those families through the Earned Income Tax Credit and state-level child care tax credits.
“A budget is a reflection of values and I applaud Governor Cooper for his investment in working North Carolinians,” said Bobbie Richardson, NCDP chair. “Instead of giving tax cuts to the wealthy, the Governor’s budget invests in the Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the best mechanisms we have to lift working people out of poverty. Instead of cutting the corporate tax rate, we are putting people back to work by helping them pay for daycare and after-school fees. These programs are a reflection of the values Democrats champion and ensure a budget that works for all, not just a wealthy few.”
Governor Cooper’s budget reinstates the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to help more than 850,000 North Carolina families, nearly all of whom earn less than $50,000 a year. This budget will also establish a Child & Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) to help about 195,000 North Carolina families with out-of-pocket child care expenses.
North Carolina has one of the highest rates of working poverty in the nation. One in eight North Carolina workers earns poverty-level wages, which for a family of four, is $25,750. Factoring in childcare where the average annual cost of care for an infant attending a child care center in the state is $9,650, over $600 more than the current in-state tuition at the University of North Carolina, how are North Carolina families supposed to pay for other necessities? That’s more than one-third of the state median income for a single mother. If we want to grow our workforce and lift families out of poverty, we should enact Governor Cooper’s budget now.