Some North Carolina residents complain about changes in state taxes

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Ahead of Tax Day some North Carolina families say their wallets are taking a big hit this year.

During a news conference Wednesday, Democrats and some Triangle residents criticized the recent overhaul of the state's tax system for causing middle class families and seniors to shell out more money.

State Rep. Larry Hall says two-thirds of the tax break benefits will go to families making over $900,000 a year.

"A working family in North Carolina can't get a break, not a tax break anyway," said Hall.

Retiree Ken Cowick is one of them, living on social security and pensions.

The 75-year-old saw his state taxes jump 456 percent in 2014, mostly due to the elimination of the medical expenses deduction.

"We've been pretty good at saving, but that saving is for things, medical, taking trips to see our grandchildren, and what I saw here, I'm going to have to put aside $100 a month," said Cowick.

The GOP tax reform that took effect in 2013 lowered the overall tax rate by getting rid of several exemptions and tax loopholes.

A new survey released Wednesday by liberal advocates at Progress NC finds that 60 percent of people polled say their state taxes went up this year. Only 8 percent believe their taxes went down.

"For my husband and myself, our state taxes went from 0 in 2013 to $999 for 2014. $669 of that increase was due to the loss of the medical tax deduction. In other words, the impact has been severe," said senior citizen Lewise Busch.

Republicans say despite those increases families in every income bracket saved money with the new tax reform law.

"$2.4 billion those are the facts, and so Progress NC, it's laughable that they're accusing Republicans of raising taxes," said Ricky Diaz, senior communications adviser for the N.C. Republican Party.

Republicans claim the vast majority of North Carolinians will get to pocket more of their own tax dollars.

Wednesday was the final day of Progress NC's "Tax Hike Truth Tour."

Democrats are currently working on a bill that would restore the medical deduction for seniors.

Click here for a link to the Progress NC poll.

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