Top North Carolina Republicans say they want to cut personal and corporate income tax rates, continuing to lower rates after a round of breaks in 2013.
Three powerful members of the Senate rolled out a plan this week that they say will cut personal and corporate income taxes by $1 billion dollars each year. The plan would:
- Lower the state personal income tax rate to 5.625 percent in 2016 and 5.5 percent in 2017.
- Eliminate taxes for married couples on their first $17,500 of income in 2016 and first $20,000 of income in 2017. And eliminate taxes for single filers on their first $8,750 in 2016 and first $10,000 in 2017.
Republican lawmakers cut taxes in 2013, estimating the state would lose $500 million in revenue but would gain through business investment and job creation.
“No one can say that this is -- which seems to be what I read all the time -- that this is a tax cut for the rich,” bill sponsor Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) said. “This is not a tax cut for the rich. This is a savings for everyone.”
The bill sponsors -- Rabon and Sens. Bob Rucho (R-Mecklenburg) and Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) -- dodged questions from reporters on whether the plan would represent cuts to North Carolina’s annual $21 billion budget.
Members of the Democratic minority expressed concern that state budget writers would have to make reductions to spending on education and transportation projects.
“Public education in North Carolina has taken a huge hit, with under-funding by hundreds of millions of dollars,” Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-Mecklenburg) said. “There's no way you can reduce revenue even further, and not have that result directly in further cuts to public education.”