By Mark Binker
RALEIGH, N.C. — It’s official.
Gov. Pat McCrory has signed the 2013 tax bill into law. The measure lowers corporate and personal income taxes, but falls short of the more sweeping reform some legislative leaders envisioned at the beginning of the year.
Critics, mainly Democrats and liberal policy groups, have lambasted the tax bill as draining resources from state government. They point to a state budget poised to be passed this week that contains no raises for state employees or teachers as a consequence of the tax measure.
“This tax reform will give teachers making approximately $40,000 to $45,000 a 1 percent increase in take-home pay,” McCrory said. “That’s good news for teachers.”
That doesn’t seem to be borne out by either the tax or budget bills. It would take most teachers without special master’s degrees or national board certifications roughly 20 years to hit a rung on the salary schedule that would have them earning $40,000.
Also, according to tables posted with the tax reform bill, a married couple filing jointly with two kids and $40,000 in income won’t save 1 percent on their taxes. A 1 percent tax break for that family doesn’t come about unless the household earns $250,000 per year or more. A household earning $100,000 per year with two children would save $364, or 0.4 percent.
McCrory held the bill signing at the Executive Mansion, complete with bill signing tropes such as handing pens used to sign the documents to lawmakers who authored the bill and key administration officials, such as Budget Director Art Pope and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker.