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The Campaign Trail
Nc Justice Center Opposes Health Care Fir Working Families Bill PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Thursday, 25 April 2019 13:42

With the NC Health Care for Working Families bill now introduced in the North Carolina House, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have finally and importantly recognized the urgent need to close the coverage gap for hundreds of thousands of uninsured North Carolinians. We are pleased to see our lawmakers recognize that far too many of their constituents cannot access treatment without fear of medical debt and even bankruptcy.

However, NC Health Care for Working Families would create financial and administrative obstacles for people who stand to gain coverage, blocking many North Carolinians from the health care they need. It would charge costly premiums to low-wage workers who are already living paycheck-to-paycheck and struggling to make ends meet. It would also take health care away from working families unless they report their work activities, despite the fact that only recently a federal judge ruled against similar requirements that left nearly 18,000 Arkansans uninsured.

We hope lawmakers continue to recognize the need to close the coverage gap, but that they do so without imposing barriers on enrollees that will limit the coverage gains, economic benefits, and fiscal savings to ensure the greatest benefit to everyone in our state.

 
NC Budget And Tax Center Favors Keeping Franchise Tax PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Thursday, 25 April 2019 13:40
The N.C. Senate has proposed reducing franchise taxes that are paid by businesses based on their net worth, resulting in an estimated $140 million annual revenue loss for North Carolina. A new report from the Budget & Tax Center  a project of the NC Justice Center, shows why it’s important that any effort to reduce or eliminate the franchise tax must recognize the tremendous cost to the state and seek to raise the necessary dollars from businesses, and not North Carolina’s working families. 
 
“Proposals to reduce the franchise tax must consider impact to state revenues at a time when needs across the state are going unmet, especially in in classrooms and local/small communities,” said Alexandra Sirota, Director of the Budget & Tax Center and author of the report. “Any further tax cuts for businesses should also take into account the total cuts to business contributions to our communities that have happened since 2013 and seek to identify ways to ensure our big businesses, in particular, contribute to thriving communities.” 
 
The franchise tax plays a vital role as an alternative minimum corporate tax. If a corporation manages to zero-out its corporate income tax liability because of tax breaks and loopholes, the franchise tax ensures that corporation will still pay a modest amount of tax to the state to support the state services and infrastructure from which they benefit – like the skilled workforce produced by state K-12 and higher education programs and the roads that enable corporations to get their products to customers. The average franchise tax liability is just $628 annually for S corporations and $8,400 for C corporations.  
 
Bill sponsors have stated that their intent is to pursue complete elimination of the franchise tax in future years. The outright elimination of the franchise tax would result in a loss of more than $670 million. 
 
Key findings from the report include:  
 
* Further cutting North Carolina business taxes won’t make the state’s tax structure more “competitive.” The corporate income tax rate has already been slashed from 6.9 percent to 2.5 percent between 2014 and 2019, and, as a result, by FY 2017, North Carolina was already tied with Indiana for having the second-lowest business tax levels of any state – 3.5 percent of gross state product. 
 
* Franchise tax can serve as a minimum tax for businesses: The franchise tax is paid by most businesses operating in North Carolina and can be thought of as an alternative minimum tax paid by businesses in light of cuts to the corporate income tax. The revenue collected supports priorities like educating each child and protecting the health and well-being of families. The annual collection from franchise tax was roughly $670 million, equivalent to more than what is needed to get North Carolina’s per pupil spending back to pre-Recession levels.  
 
* The franchise tax ensures that higher net worth businesses pay a higher share. The tax is applied to the companies’ net worth defined broadly as the total assets minus total liabilities. In tax year 2016, 75 percent of franchise tax collections came from businesses with net worth calculated at $20 million or more. 
 
“The franchise tax is based on net worth, so the greater contributions to the state through this tax are coming from higher net worth companies,” said Sirota. 
 
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT Alexandra Forter Sirota, Budget & Tax Center Director, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 919-861-1468; or Mel Umbarger, BTC Senior Communications Specialist, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
 
Former Rep. Rodney Moore And Campaign Treasurer Indicted In Campaign Finance Probe PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 14:12
A Mecklenburg County grand jury indicted former state Rep. Rodney Moore of Charlotte on nine felony charges in connection with the filing of false campaign finance disclosure reports from 2011 to 2015.
 
According to the indictments, Moore knowingly certified under oath that false campaign finance reports were true, a violation of N.C.G.S. § 163A-1449. Each count is a Class I felony.
The grand jury also indicted Moore’s treasurer, Tammy Neal, on one count of common law obstruction of justice, also a felony. According to the indictment, Neal, while serving as treasurer for the Committee to Elect Rodney W. Moore, willfully submitted fraudulent documents purporting to be bank records to the State Board of Elections.
 
“We are grateful to the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office for its work on this case, as we are to all prosecutors who take election matters seriously,” said Kim Westbrook Strach, State Board executive director. “Agency audits of campaign disclosures detect those who try to use their campaign accounts as personal piggy banks. We hope these prosecutions highlight the importance of accurate campaign finance disclosure. Voters have a right to know how candidates are raising and spending campaign cash.”
 
The State Board initiated an investigation in 2017 after an audit of Moore’s reports turned up irregularities in the campaign’s reporting of contributions and expenditures. The State Board subpoenaed the Moore committee’s bank records after repeated attempts to get them voluntarily from Moore were unsuccessful. 
 
In a meeting in October, the then-State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement voted unanimously, 9-0, to refer the Moore and Neal cases to the Mecklenburg County district attorney for further investigation and possible prosecution.
 
The State Board vote came after a presentation from Executive Director Strach, which detailed the findings of the State Board’s investigation into Moore’s campaign reporting. 
Among the significant findings:
 
•      The Moore committee did not disclose more than $141,000 in receipts and expenditures between 2010 and 2017.
•      The committee failed to disclose more than $25,000 in cash withdrawals and cash back from purchases.
•      The committee submitted altered bank records in response to questions from State Board auditors.
 
HPU Poll: NC Citizens Don't Think Their Federal Tax Dollar Is Spent Wisely PDF Print E-mail
The Campaign Trail
By Administrator   
Wednesday, 27 March 2019 13:35

A recent HPU Poll finds that most North Carolina residents don’t think their federal tax money is being used properly. A majority (58 percent) of respondents disagree that their tax money is being used properly, with only about one in five of survey respondents saying that they agree (19 percent) that their tax money is being used properly. A similar proportion didn’t offer an opinion (21 percent).

Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of North Carolina residents agree that they would like to be able to prioritize what their federal tax money is spent on. Only 11 percent of these respondents disagree with that statement, while 15 percent offered no opinion at all

When asked if they think the federal budget allocation of tax dollars should increase, decrease, or stay the same for a variety of issues, more than two-thirds (68 percent) say the education budget allocation should increase, followed by health care (61 percent) and public infrastructure (52 percent). Less than half of respondents indicate they think the federal budget allocation should increase for the border security (45 percent) and the military (41 percent).

Lastly, the HPU Poll asked how much North Carolinians would favor or oppose a tax proposal that would apply a 70 percent rate to the 10 millionth dollar and beyond for individuals making $10 million a year or more in reportable income. Half of respondents (51 percent) indicate they strongly or somewhat favor such a proposal. One-third (33 percent) say they strongly or somewhat oppose this tax proposal, and 16 percent offered no opinion.

"These findings show that people in North Carolina are generally skeptical about how well their money is being put to use,” says Dr. Martin Kifer, chair and ssociate professor of political science and director of the HPU Poll. “But despite that general concern, it appears that a majority is open to increasing taxes on the richest Americans.”

All adults – Federal Tax Money (February 2019)

Now I would like to change topics and ask about taxes. How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Would you say you strongly disagree, disagree, have no opinion, agree, or strongly agree?

My federal tax money is being used properly:

Strongly disagree – 24 percent

Disagree – 34 percent        

No opinion – 21 percent     

Agree – 15 percent  

Strongly agree – 4 percent 

(Don’t know/Refused) – 2 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 18-24, 2019, n = 881 and credibility interval of +/- 4.5 percent)

 

All adults – Federal Tax Priority (February 2019)

Now I would like to change topics and ask about taxes.  How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Would you say you strongly disagree, disagree, have no opinion, agree, or strongly agree?

I would like to be able to prioritize what my federal tax money is spent on:

Strongly disagree – 3 percent

Disagree – 8 percent

No opinion – 15 percent     

Agree – 39 percent  

Strongly agree – 35 percent

(Don’t know/Refused) – 1 percent

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 18-24, 2019, n = 881 and credibility interval of +/- 4.5 percent)

 

All adults – Federal Budget Allocation (February 2019)

For each of the following, do you think the federal budget allocation of tax dollars should increase, decrease, or stay the same?

 

 

Increase

Decrease

Stay the same

(Don’t know/ refused)

Education

68

7

18

7

Health care

61

12

19

9

Public infrastructure

52

7

29

12

Border security

45

19

27

9

Military

41

18

32

9

 

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 18-24, 2019, n = 881 and credibility interval of +/- 4.5 percent)

 

All adults – Federal Tax Rate (February 2019)

Currently the top federal tax rate is 37 percent. How much would you favor or oppose a tax proposal that would apply a 70 percent rate to the 10 millionth dollar and beyond for individuals making $10 million a year or more in reportable income?

 

Strongly favor – 30 percent

Somewhat favor – 21 percent

Somewhat oppose – 13 percent

Strongly oppose – 20 percent

(Don’t know/Refused) – 16 percent

 

(All adult (North Carolina resident) phone and online sample, surveyed Feb. 18-24, 2019, n = 881 and credibility interval of +/- 4.5 percent)

 

The most recent HPU Poll was fielded by live interviewers at the High Point University Survey Research Center calling on Feb. 18-24, 2019 and an online survey fielded at the same time. The responses from a sample of all North Carolina counties came from 881 adults interviewed online (599 respondents) as well as landline or cellular telephones (282 respondents). The Survey Research Center contracted with Dynata, formerly Research Now SSI to acquire these samples, and fielded the online survey using its Qualtrics platform. This is a combined sample of live phone interviews and online interviews. The online sampling is from a panel of respondents, so their participation does not adhere to usual assumptions associated with random selection.  Therefore, it is not appropriate to assign a classical margin of sampling error for the results. In this case, the SRC provides a credibility interval of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points to account for a traditional 95 percent confidence interval for the estimates (plus or minus 3.3 percentage points) and a design effect of 1.4 (based on the weighting). The data is weighted toward population estimates for age, gender, race, and education level based on U.S. Census numbers for North Carolina. Factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls. 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2019 13:39
 
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