INVESTING IN NORTH CAROLINA’S FAMILIES & FUTURE
N.C. Families First believes in making North Carolina the greatest state in the nation to live, work and raise a family. Our state had so much going for it that for decades thousands of new families moved to North Carolina every year. Unfortunately, North Carolina’s family-friendly reputation has taken a hit and over the last few years state lawmakers have made the task of raising a family demonstrably more difficult.
Raising a family requires a commitment, not just from parents, but from the community. But in the last few years, North Carolina’s state government has walked back its commitment to public education. That’s strike one.
Strike two, North Carolina’s economy isn’t creating the type of good-paying jobs that can support a family. Fifty-seven percent of the jobs created since 2008 pay poverty-level wages and North Carolina’s median income is almost $7,000 below the national average. Even many public school teachers in North Carolina are forced to accept government assistance to make ends meet with their meager salaries.
Strike three, in 2013 state lawmakers made several changes to our state tax code that made it harder to raise a family. N.C. Families First supports the restoration of family-friendly tax reforms that will make raising a family a little bit easier for most North Carolinians, including:
By simply reinstating many of the family-friendly tax policies that have recently been eliminated, the state of North Carolina can be more affordable for families.
1) Reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit. In 2011, over 900,000 North Carolina families used the state EITC to make ends meet. Research shows that the federal EITC is one of the greatest anti-poverty tools at the government’s disposal, lifting millions of families around the country out of poverty.
2) Reinstate the Back-to-School sales tax holiday.
Saving for college is a difficult task for any family and student debt is a burden on young families trying to buy a first house, save for retirement and achieve financial stability. Fortunately, the state can do a lot to help.
By reinstating tax deductions for 529 plans and keeping tuition low at state colleges and universities, the state can keep college affordable.
By offering options to refinance student debt, the state has an opportunity to help young families gain financial stability faster, buy a home, and begin saving for retirement or college expenses for their children.
When parents think about where’s the best place to raise their family, schools are always at the top of the list. From Pre-K to K-12 to post-secondary education,
North Carolina must recommit to public education. Funding for public schools has dropped.
North Carolina ranks 46th in the nation in per pupil funding. Our commitment to Pre-K has diminished and our world-class university and community college systems have lost some luster.
Whether it’s the mountains, coast, parks, cultural amenities, clean water, clean air, access to fresh foods and good health care options, North Carolina must invest in our quality of life.
Making North Carolina affordable, with good schools and a high quality of life is the recipe necessary to make our state truly family-friendly.
For more information, please contact NC Families First at: