Personal income tax cuts proposed by state Republican lawmakers could divert billions away from schools, hospitals, roads, and communities across North Carolina. According to Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration, state Senate Republicans’ tax cut plan would lead to a revenue loss of $13 billion for the state by the 2030-31 fiscal year, or about 19% of the state’s current general fund.
Currently, the state invests about $11.3 billion in K-12 education. However, under the Republicans’ plan, funding would be cut by $2.1 billion. In addition, the UNC system would see cuts of $680 million, and about $260 million away from community colleges, according to officials.
“And, it’s really difficult to hire teachers, counselors, nurses, teacher assistants, school bus drivers when you’re not sure you’re going to have that money the next year,” Geoff Coltrane, senior education adviser to Gov. Cooper, told CBS17.
According to officials from Gov. Cooper’s office, a loss of $2 billion annually for the state’s education system is equivalent to 28,000 classroom teachers positions, or funding services for more than 180,000 students with disabilities, 11,000 teaching assistants and thousands of school support staff.
Data from the NC Budget & Tax Center shows that personal income tax cuts, proposed by Republicans, have delivered huge benefits for the wealthy while schools, roads, and community infrastructures go underfunded.
“These tax cuts could really damage that stable and predictable source of funding that our schools rely on,” stated Coltrane.
While state Republicans have proposed yet another tax burden proposal, state Democrats and Gov. Cooper continue to advocate for the investments of school funding for all public schools in accordance with the Leandro Remedial Plan.
The remedial plan calls for increased investments toward education. It addresses many long-standing unmet needs, such as funding for students with disabilities, expanded early childhood education, higher educator pay and increased school support staff.