Regarding “Legislators want to add tax cap amendment” (June 14): As a statewide organization of growing small businesses, our experience shows that long-term corporate prosperity depends on whether a large proportion of North Carolinians are prosperous as well. A significant tax bill that would amend our state Constitution, S75, would put a permanent limit on corporate and individual income taxes into the state Constitution.
This bill is not an answer to any of our problems as businesses. In fact, it would likely create problems.
It weakens funding available to support education, public safety, infrastructure and other public services. It rewards the biggest corporations the most, in effect arming them with deeper pools of capital to undercut their smaller local competitors.
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As we look for other ways to pay for things like public safety and education, we could see sales taxes on more goods and services (and at higher rates), more property tax increases from local governments, excise taxes and fines and fees. It’s likely to put more tax burden on local and rural communities.
Our members believe their businesses prosper by investing in the right things. We care about a well-educated workforce – the state should lead investments in health care and education for all children, in excellent public schools that prepare young people for high-skilled jobs – and resilient state financial structure in maintaining a balanced budget and investing in core infrastructure for growing small business such as tech assistance and startup support. We know that will rev the engines of businesses all across the state.
Vicki Lee Parker
North Carolina Business Council
Regarding “Rabbis call for dialogue with Jewish community” (June 10): The concern expressed by area rabbis that the Durham City Council should not have “singled out” Israel when banning police exchanges with foreign governments is entirely misplaced.
As a Jew I say it was appropriate for the council to mention Israel by name for at least three reasons: 1) Israel is the only country in the world that has ever provided counterterrorism training to Durham police officers – namely former Durham Police Chief Lopez and two of his Durham Commanders. Furthermore, current Durham Chief Davis, while working with the Atlanta police force, established the APLI International Exchange program with Israel that included anti-terrorism training.
2) Israel is the only country in the world that solicits and engages local police leaders from across the United States to engage in their counterterrorism training programs (as evidenced by the 2017 ADL brochure presented to City Council).
3) Israel is the only country in the world that, through its agents, advertises that the Durham Police Department has participated in exchanges with Israeli police and security forces as part of an effort to recruit more U.S. police leaders to sign up for these trainings.
Thanks, Durham City Council, for ending any future police exchanges with Israel.
Funding makes difference
Regarding “NC’s fast-track budget diverted $50 million of a pre-K windfall” (June 5): I am extremely upset by the $50 million additional dollars that were redirected from early education and funneled back into the state’s general fund. Early education is essential for the development and success of young children.
I can personally attest to the difference it has made in my family. Both my brother and I gained valuable reading skills, in addition to cultural awareness, behavioral skills and world knowledge. My brother loved pre-K. The school did the best they could with very limited resources and staff. It was a chance for him to make new friends, play games and gain new knowledge. My brother retained much of that knowledge and is currently excelling in grade school. I currently attend Appalachian State University and am going to graduate one year ahead of schedule.
The additional $50 million could have been used to expand access to NC pre-K and to provide much-needed child care subsidies for working families. It’s a shame that many other children will not be fortunate enough to have such experiences due to this lack of funding in 2019.