• 64°

My Turn, Keith Townsend: Too many lose under GOP rule

Townsend

Keith Townsend lives in Mount Ulla.

Keith Townsend lives in Mount Ulla.

Since the Republican takeover of the N.C. Legislature in 2011, nearly $4 billion in available state revenue has been written off in tax cuts. Since everyone hates taxes, one might ask, “Why is this a problem?” Because Republican tax priorities are designed to create big winners among the rich and countless losers among the middle class and the poor.

A brief look at the structure of the Republicans’ tax policy can help us discern who the winners and losers are under this Republican system. An overview of the 2015 tax brackets reveals that those with the lowest 20 percent of income ($12,000 average) had a tax increase of approximately $30. The middle 20 percent ($44,000 average) had their taxes reduced by $6, while North Carolinians with an income of at least $1 million saved an average of nearly $15,000. It is clear the Republican tax cuts were designed to benefit the very wealthy.

In 2013, N.C. eliminated an estate tax that would have been applied to only estates worth more than $5 million. Exactly one year later, we were the only state to eliminate the Earned Income Tax Credit, ending an average refund of $119 for 907,000 low income workers throughout North Carolina.

On March 1 of this year, 30 new taxes for services, such as polishing shoes or calibrating guns, as well as a host of automotive repairs, went into effect. As taxes are being increased on lower- and middle-income families, corporate income taxes are to be reduced by $183 million this year, with a projected reduction of over $1 billion by the year 2020. There is even more good news for those of you who own an airplane. This year the tax on planes will be substantially reduced, resulting in the removal of another $2 million from our state’s treasury.

Who is hurt by these drastic cuts in revenue? As usual, it is those least able to fight back, especially children. Since the Republican takeover of the legislature, food stamps have been cut off to approximately 100,000 families, and North Carolina’s unemployment compensation is now the lowest in the nation. This assault on our poorest citizens brings with it hunger and despair.

Also, thanks to Republican policies, by 2014 N.C. ranked 47th in per student spending. As a result, 7,000 teacher assistants have been removed from elementary classrooms. Once again our children pay the price.

We should not allow the Republican legislature and governor to continue to undermine both the financial security and the moral standing of our great state. The fact is, Republican priorities favor the rich with tax cuts, while increasing taxes on the middle class and the poor. Remember that when you go to the polls to vote in November.

Keith Townsend lives in Mount Ulla.

“My Turn” submissions should be 500-700 words. Send to letters@salisburypost.com with “My Turn” in the subject line. Please include name, address, phone number and, if possible, a photo of yourself.

Comments

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras

Education

Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week

Education

Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant

Education

Shoutouts

News

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

Education

COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight

Local

Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’