Paula A. Wolf: Another cruel cut

March 16, 2013 

Another cruel cut

The “family values, job creators” in the GOP-led General Assembly plan yet another assault on the poor or under-employed North Carolinians who are still struggling after the Great Recession. They are poised to weaken and eliminate the state Earned Income Tax Credit along with the federal credit.

The EITC helps keep thousands of working North Carolina families out of poverty. As its name suggests, the EITC can be claimed only by people who actually earn income through work. The EITC serves to make our unfair tax system only slightly more equitable by offsetting the disproportionate share of income the working poor in N.C. pay in taxes compared with high-wage earners. It is a modest and positive support for those making low wages.

The December 2012 N.C. unemployment rate was 9.2 percent, but the General Assembly recently cut unemployment benefits and rejected the expansion of Medicaid – two actions that will harm our state’s most vulnerable residents. By cutting and eliminating the EITC, lawmakers are actively working to shift the tax load to those among us who work low-paying jobs. It is shameful and cruel and, sadly, a trend.

Paula A. Wolf

Raleigh

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