NC’s Top 5 Percent Tell Lawmakers: Keep The Tax Cut For More Pressing Needs, We’re Doing Just Fine

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July 1, 2013. Two dozen taxpayers in the top 5 percent have united to let Governor McCrory and lawmakers know that they don’t need a tax cut, and the state instead should adequately fund critical investments like public education, community colleges, universities, and economic and natural resources.

In a letter delivered to lawmakers on Monday, taxpayers representing the state’s top 5 percent based on their income and assets make it clear: “It is not fair to the majority of our residents to decrease our tax load at the expense of our public schools’ ability to educate our children, of local governments’ ability to provide services without raising taxes, and our most vulnerable citizens’ ability to obtain health care and other life-saving services.”

While lawmakers have continued to base tax plans on dramatic cuts to income taxes — primarily for those at the top — that they claim will create jobs in North Carolina, decades of research and experiences across states have found no link between income tax levels and economic growth. Slashing income tax rates for those at the top does, however, contribute to increased income inequality and endangers critical public investments.

“The research is clear. Cutting taxes for the wealthiest taxpayers is not a good strategy for economic growth,”  said Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center. “The loss of revenue under these plans will likely have the opposite effect, hinder the state’s ability to grow and grow equitably.” 

North Carolina’s top earners that have signed onto this letter reinforce the message that cutting taxes for those at the top is not a welcome change.

“We are doing just fine and would rather see the money you are trying to put back in our pockets, be invested in the critical infrastructure and services that make our state a wonderful place to live and work,” the letter reads.

The full letter can be read below:

July 1, 2013

Dear Governor McCrory, Senator Berger, Speaker Tillis and Members of the North Carolina General Assembly,

We the undersigned are contacting you as residents of North Carolina that fall within the top 5% of taxpayers based on our income and assets. We respectfully reject the proposed increase in the size of our tax break at the expense of everyone in our great
state of North Carolina.

We are proud of the State of North Carolina in large part because of our legacy of investing in public education, our world class colleges and universities, our economic and natural resources, and other vital public infrastructure. Unfortunately in recent years due to difficult economic times, the state has underinvested in many of these areas.

We want to insure North Carolina is a national leader in education, the environment, and providing critical services to our most vulnerable. Instead, in our race to the bottom of income tax rates, we risk falling behind even further and compromising our economic
growth.

During the most difficult economic times in our state, those of us at the top have managed not only to survive but continue to thrive. It is not fair to the majority of our residents to decrease our tax load at the expense of our public schools’ ability to educate our children, or our local governments’ ability to provide services without raising taxes, or our most vulnerable citizens’ ability to obtain health care and other life-saving services.

We appreciate that you are trying to undertake the important endeavor of tax reform, but we remind you that we already pay a smaller percent of our incomes in taxes than middle and low income families. We are doing just fine and would rather see the money you are trying to put back in our pockets, be invested in the critical infrastructure and services that make our state a wonderful place to live and work.

Sincerely,
Philip Blumenthal - Charlotte, NC

Paul and Bessie Carrington- Durham, NC

Betty Craven - Chapel Hill, NC

M.C. Durham, NC

Curtiss and Theodora Devereux - Raleigh, NC

Chris Heavener - Raleigh, NC

Tema Okun and Thomas Stern - Durham, NC 27701

Dr. Lawrence B. Morse and Dr. Claire K. Morse - Greensboro, NC

Eleanor and Charles D Owen III - Asheville, NC

Cosette Singh and Dick Philpot - Raleigh, NC

S.S. - Durham, NC

Adam and Jane Stein - Chapel Hill, NC

R. Zach Thomas, III and Sally M. Thomas - Charlotte, NC

Ann Wood - Charlotte, NC

Terry and Ted VanDuyn - Asheville, NC

 

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