National “Tax Freedom Day” Should Remind Us of Investments in N.C.’s Common Good
RALEIGH (April 12, 2011) -- The right-wing Tax Foundation’s so-called national “Tax Freedom Day” falls on April 12. The day and the rhetoric that surrounds it ignores the benefits that we all receive from vital public investments: adequately funded schools and the education they provide to our children and workforce, roads to get us to work and home, and clean air and water that keep us healthy.
This anti-tax rhetoric also undermines the responsibility we all share for investing in these shared supports to our common good. Instead, this day should be a reminder of the value of our shared public investments.
NC Budget & Tax Center staff will be available to provide a critique of the “Tax Freedom Day” methodology and calculation as well as a different side to the role of taxes in our state’s economic growth and North Carolinians' well-being. Among the key facts that should be part of the story:
The freedom we all enjoy rests on the opportunity and security provided by the public structures that our tax dollars pay for—our public schools and institutions of higher learning, our hospitals and health clinics, courts, police, and fire protection.
Federal tax collections in 2009 and 2010 were lower as a share of the economy than any time since 1950. (Tax Policy Center)
State tax collections next year are projected to reach their lowest levels as a share of state residents' income in at least 40 years. (NC Budget and Tax Center calculations from OSBM and BEA data)
The wealthiest North Carolinians pay a lower share of their income in state and local taxes than low- and moderate-income North Carolina families. (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy)
In part to pay for lowering tax rates next year, state policymakers are proposing damaging cuts to public education, physical and mental health services, and public safety. This underinvestment will harm the state’s prospects for economic recovery and the well-being of North Carolinians.
Who: Edwin McLenaghan, Public Policy Analyst and Alexandra Forter Sirota, Director
When: April 12th
What: Available to provide a different perspective on Tax Freedom Day
For more information, contact: Alexandra Forter Sirota, firstname.lastname@example.org, (919) 861-1468; or (919) 801-0465; Edwin McLenaghan, (919) 856-3192; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, NC Justice Center, email@example.com, (919) 863-2402 (office) (503) 551.3615 (mobile).