taxes

North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. John Sauls (R-Harnett, Lee)

In this legislator profile, we focus on Rep. John Sauls, a Republican representative from District 51 in Harnett and Lee Counties. Sauls served in the General Assembly as a Republican from 2003 until 2007, when he left both the party and public office. In 2016 Sauls rejoined the party and was re-elected. He serves on the appropriations committee and as the chairman of the Education-Community College committee.

Sauls consistently supported policies that shortchange education at every level in N.C. He repeatedly voted for environmental policies that jeopardize access to clean water and clean air while also threatening rural economic development. Sauls supported a budget that prioritized tax cuts over policies that benefit working people, including teachers, families, and the elderly. Read more on Rep. Sauls here.

“I will continue to fight for more resources for our public schools and to ensure these resources are being used in the classrooms not wasted by bureaucrats.” - John Sauls

(Source: Harnett News)
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Legislator Profile: John Bradford (R-Mecklenburg)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Representative John Bradford, the Republican from House District 98. Before joining the General Assembly, Bradford was elected to the Cornelius Town Board in 2011. While there, he sought to cancel elections and have the town board elected every three years instead of two.  

Bradford was one of the co-sponsors of HB2. One year later, he co-sponsored a failed HB2 repeal bill that would make local anti-discrimination measures subject to a public referendum.

 “I voted to restore common sense regulations for North Carolina citizen’s rights to privacy in bathrooms and changing facilities.” – Rep. John Bradford, after voting for HB2 (The Herald Weekly, 03/31/16; The Southern Pines Pilot, 05/21/16)

Bradford has shown time and again that he believes tax cuts are more important than public education. Bradford said, “spending more in education will not magically solve the problems we are facing” and “we need to continue holding everyone accountable and find ways to cut bureaucratic and unnecessary expenses that we incur outside the classroom.” He voted for the 2017 Republican budget that continues the trend of cutting taxes for the wealth few rather than raising per pupil spending. Bradford said “we need to financially reward our best and brightest educators” but voted for the Republican budget that gives beginning teachers no raise, and only a 0.6 percent raise to experienced teachers and per pupil spending has actually gone down in the budgets he voted on. Read more on Bradford here

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North Carolina Legislator Profile: Rep. Chris Malone (R-Wake)

In this Real Facts Legislator Profile, we focus on Rep. Chris Malone, the Republican representative from District 35 and Deputy Majority Whip for the 2017-2018 legislative session. He was first elected in 2012 and currently serves as the chair of the Wildlife Resources Committee and the Appropriations on Health and Human Services Committee and vice chair of the Appropriations Committee. Malone’s political career started over 15 years ago as a Wake Forest Town Commissioner in 2001. He was on the Wake County School Board in 2009 until his resignation in 2012. During his time on the school board, he was called a “hard-liner” who “served without distinction.” As a Representative, Malone has sponsored bills that aimed to restore partisan judicial elections and bar federal Medicaid expansion. After being delinquent at least 25 times paying them, Malone tried to repeal motor vehicle renewal and property taxes – while voting to raise sales taxes on working families. Read more here.

Summary

  • Since 2002, Malone has been delinquent on personal property taxes at least 25 times
  • During his time on the school board, he:
    • was accused of burglary following an alleged affair with another board member, supported private school vouchers
    • looked to install less expensive heating, cooling, and ventilation systems in schools
    • worked to replace diversified schools with neighborhood schools
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Unconstitutional GOP majority proposes budget—our first take

This unconstitutionally elected Republican majority continues to legislate, not on behalf of the people of North Carolina, but on behalf of their billionaire backers. Instead of protecting the middle class and building world-class public schools, this budget gives tax breaks to billionaires. Under this budget, North Carolina will keep falling behind when it doesn’t have to.

  • The Republican budget fails our schools, middle class families, and the future of our economy at a time when we do not have to.
  • Cooper found a way to raise teacher pay more than 5% next year. Republicans only offer 3.3%. Instead of investing in classrooms, Republicans are giving millions in tax breaks to billionaires.
  • Cooper offered free community college for high school graduates, money to help teachers pay for out-of-pocket expenses, and eliminated the waitlist for pre-K. Republicans did none of those things.
  • Under this budget, we are still spending less that we did before the recession per student, teachers are still underpaid, and we have seven thousand fewer teaching assistants than we did in 2008.
  • Instead of prioritizing education, Republicans are undercutting our kids and it’s our economy that will suffer as North Carolina falls farther and farther behind other states and competitors like China and India. 

In addition to education, the GOP budget fails to provide for critical areas of need for rural North Carolina - including broadband and economic development..

  • Governor Cooper's budget invests $20 million to expand access to broadband and improve the economy of rural North Carolina, while the Republican budget would spend $250,000 on state IT bureaucrats.
  • Cooper proposed $30 million for a ready-sites program to attract new jobs to rural areas. The Republican budget leaves rural areas behind, choosing to spend only $2 million on ready-sites.

The GOP budget also wastes money on projects of the extreme right:

  • The Republican budget spends $1.3 million on an anti-abortion advocacy group that masquerades as a provider of health services to women, pushing dangerous and misleading propaganda on vulnerable women.
  • The GOP spends $40 million on private school vouchers which send tax dollars to unaccountable private and religious schools.

 

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2017 North Carolina Senate Budget - Quick Takeaways

It’s clear from Senate Republicans’ proposed budget that they are determined to follow their same misguided priorities - placing the millionaires and billionaires that fund their campaigns ahead of the needs of everyday North Carolinians. When compared to the governor's budget, this budget falls short in several key ways:

  • Cooper’s plan is a realistic plan to get teacher pay to the national average in five years and raises teacher pay by 5% this year. The Senate plan only raises teacher pay 3.7%.
  • Every teacher gets a raise under the Cooper plan. Under the Senate plan, the most veteran teachers get no raise at all.
  • Cooper’s budget invests $8 million more in textbooks and increases per pupil spending by almost $200 more than the Senate plan.
  • Instead of eliminating the wait list for Pre-K or providing for tuition-free community college as Governor Cooper did, Republicans have chosen to spend another $44 million on private school vouchers.

Instead of investing in schools, the Republican leaders in the Senate are willing to give away hundreds of millions of dollars on tax breaks for billionaires and giant corporations.

This plan would give millionaires a tax cut 60 times the size of what middle class families would receive.

Since Republicans have taken control of the state legislature they’ve chosen millionaires before the middle class every step of the way. Under the Senate plan, eighty percent of state tax breaks since 2013 went to the wealthiest North Carolinians.

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Budget Compromise? A Response.

Yesterday, Speaker Tim Moore announced that a budget compromise may be on the horizon and it could feature block grants to local school districts. Instead of choosing the Senate’s plan to layoff teacher assistants and hire more teachers or the House’s version that protects TA&rsq…

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SB607 “TABOR” Is a Terrible Idea

Republicans are desperate to distract attention because they can’t balance the budget after giving huge tax breaks to the millionaires and shifting the burden to everyone else. This new budget gimmick is confusing, unnecessary and will have unintended…

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So-called surplus built on the backs of everyday North Carolinians

Yesterday the NCGA’s Fiscal Research Division and OSBM released new state revenue forecasts that found a $400 million surplus, instead of a deficit, as had been previously estimated. But buried in the official memo are two dichotomies that explains all you need to know about …

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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 expla…

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Tea Party Organ Calls NCGOP’s 2013 Tax Plan A “Tax Increase”

According to a column in the Tea Party rag, The Beaufort Observer, Gov. McCrory and the NCGA Republican’s tax reform will result in tax increases on many North Carolina families. When is a “tax cut” a tax increase? Many among us are going to be in for a real shocke…

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