Responses to Gov. McCrory’s Proposed Budget
We found these responses particularly insightful:
- On Thursday, Gov. Pat McCrory released a unambitious state budget, that barely covered the state’s most pressing needs. The Raleigh News & Observer explained it best, “The document runs almost 300 pages. Its explanation of “new or significantly expanded” programs takes up less than half a page.”
- Alexandra Sirota of the NC Budget and Tax Center was also spot on saying, “The “tough choices” Governor McCrory says he made in his just-released budget proposal were self-inflicted. They come from tax cuts that primarily benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations, meaning there is too little left to invest in education and other building blocks of a strong economy.”
- From Rodney Ellis, President of NCAE: ”Just one month ago, it was reported that schools that had received a grade of F had more than 50 percent of students facing poverty. There is no plan in this budget to help those students and schools. All of our students, regardless of zip code, deserve the tools and time to learn.”
As they are having to write checks back to the state Department of Revenue this year, thousands of North Carolina families are starting to realize that the Republican’s promised tax “cut” was an illusion. And as middle class families are having to pay more in taxes, they have a right to ask the Governor, “what am I getting for my sacrifice?” Very little, it appears.
Under Gov. McCrory’s plan most teachers won’t see any pay increase. That’s unfair and will damage our public schools after teachers went years without any raise and then veteran teachers got raises as low as .29% last year.
Education spending in the state is at an historic low. In the second year of the biennium, the share of the state budget going to education (54.4%) is at its lowest point in a generation.
This budget raises community college tuition by 5.5%, on top of another community college tuition increase Gov. McCrory signed last year. While thousands of North Carolinians are struggling to get by in a rapidly changing economy, Gov. McCrory is making it harder for them to get the skills they need to find good-paying jobs.
Finally, despite McCrory’s protestations this budget does endorse on a gas tax increase that will hit middle-and-lower income families the hardest. After raising taxes on most hardworking families while giving tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations in his 2013 tax package, now Gov. McCrory is going to hit them up again at the pump.