North Carolina Democrats go on offensive over tax policies

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With just a week left before tax day, state Democrats are crying foul on Republican-driven changes to North Carolina's tax policy.

With just a week left before tax day, state Democrats are crying foul on Republican-driven changes to North Carolina's tax policy.

"The governor talks a lot about a North Carolina come back," said Rep. Larry Hall, Democratic minority leader, "but the fact is his policies have made things harder for North Carolina's middle class and working families."

Hall and other prominent Democrats called those policies into question at a press conference Tuesday afternoon at the State Democratic headquarters on Hillsborough Street in Raleigh.

"People were 'promised the largest tax cut in history'" said Durham Sen. Mike Woodard. "Instead they're paying more and watching millionaires get a break on their yachts and their jets."

Last year, a new Republican-driven tax code took effect in the Tar Heel State. They shaved the state income tax for individuals and businesses but also expanded the state sales tax to dozens of new goods and services. They carved a cut-out for some luxury items but did away with the earned income tax credit, which was designed specifically to help people who don't make much come tax time.

"By eliminating the earned income tax credit," said Hall, "Gov. McCrory raised taxes on 900,000 - let me say that again, 900,000 - North Carolinians who are all over North Carolina, struggling to get something to eat."

However, many conservatives say these are just progressive talking points.

"There are over 100,000 North Carolinians with jobs today that did not have them when these tax cuts went into effect," said Francis De Luca, who heads up the conservative think-tank Civitas

De Luca attributes that, as well as a much lower unemployment level, in large part to those cuts.

"This tax reform benefitted the vast majority of the people of North Carolina," said De Luca. "Even more, it benefited the economy by creating jobs. And the people who most need jobs are the people at the bottom end of the spectrum."

That's one thing both sides might agree on.

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