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Joint | April 15, 2015 | Chamber | Press Conference - Rep. Richardson

Full MP3 Audio File

Good Morning my name is Logan Smith I'm with progress North Calorina and some of our speakers are still coming in but I know that folks need to get to different things so we are just go ahead and get started now. This is the stop of our tax like truth tour across the state and all across the state we have been meeting with senior citizens small business owners and just regular working class North Calorinians who are paying higher taxes under the tax reform passed by the general assembly, North Carolina has looked to other states to show us the way forward, on the contrary, other states in this house, have always looked to us as for leadership and innovative ideas, that rapid reputation is rapidly eroding under the current leadership, our state created a progressive income tax many decades ago which as a leader in state funding for public education at the time, we created a community collegue system that was the envy of the nation in our innovative Early Childhood programs we are also held up as a national model. But all that is evaporating thanks to state leaders who are ignoring history ignoring the evidence and sabotaging our state's future by cutting back on the things that make us stronger. They are doubling down on reckless tax handouts to the big corporations and wealthiest individuals who are already thriving in the current economy, by raising taxes on the working class folks who are the true backbone of North Carolina's economy. And over here you can see a long list of the tax hikes passed by the folks in charge of the General Assembly over the past few years, tax hikes which disproportionately affect lower and middle class taxpayers. It's time to send them a message to stop asking us to pay more while settling for less. Now a poll we are releasing today and if you haven't gotten a copy of that please see me afterwards and I'm happy to send your copy you, find that 60% of respondents across the States say their state taxes have increased this year, including 67% of Democrats 59% of independents and even 57% of Republicans and a whopping 89% of respondents say their families financial system hasn't improved it hasn't improved recently including 91% of democrats, 90% of independents and 84% of republicans. Now if you read this questions they pose very clearly specify between state and federal taxes so there is no way conservatives can blame President Obama like they sometimes do. No matter who you ask Republicans, Democrats, old folks, young folks and everyone in between, North Carolinian's across the States are realising that they've been sold a bill of goods by the General Assembly so called tax report so it's time to start paying for record handouts for big businesses and wealthiest individuals on the backs of the working class of North Carolinian's. And first I would like to introduce Senator Dibble. Good morning and thank you all. This is a serious day in North Carolina because hopes of state of filing a tax returns in time for the day's deadline. And while this might be an annual ritual but this year families across the state are filling for the first time an added burden in their wallets. Over the past four years Republican leadership in North Carolina has being giving out million of dollars in tax, handouts to big corporations and the wealthiest individual while raising taxes on middle and working class North Carolinians. At a time when state is still struggling to come out of the great recession and woking families are still yet to see any true relief. These tax hikes are an added burden Republicans have made it harder for the average families to keep up with the cost of living by eliminating the small business tax credit, eliminating the earned income tax credit, eliminating child care tax credits and eliminating tax deductions for singers who have significant medical experience. Today we are joined by just a few the North Carolinian's feeling this extra burden on their tax bills, and we vow here today as a joint [xx] of senate and house democrats to work tirelessly each day in this general assembly. To do what we can to remove these extra burdens to working and middle class families. To work for a fair and equitable tax code that works for everyone in the states and not just the wealthiest few. Good morning, thank you, senator Blue and to all the North Carolinian's who, today are experiencing the day of judgment on what's happened with our tax code in the past. We're going to fight back on this.

Governor Mccory's[sp?] top priority  supposedly in office so far, has been passing massive text giveaways for millionaires and for giant corporations. Now it's tax day, the consequences are clear, middle-class families are being forced to pick up that tab and as you heard it said by previous speakers, on and on poeple look and see how they have been impacted in middle class families the facts are simple, over the next five years, governor McCorry has given an estimated One Billion per year to North Carolina's healthiest individuals and the largest corporations. Who pays that bill, middle-class families workers in North Carolina. In fact, 2/3 of the money will go to individual groups' annual income over 900, 000 a year, 900, 000 year, you're getting a tax break, working families can barely make it from paycheck to paycheck. The governor's plan preserved tax breaks for years, If you have one, you're celebrating the day, just if you have one you're celebrating the day in country clubs while eliminating the tax cast targeted towards the middle-income class. By eliminating the earn income tax created governor McCorry raised taxes on over 900, 000 North Carolinians so you heard the figures about people who are they're dissatisfied with what's happening and who are paying for our taxes, keep in mind, the Governor consciously raised the taxes is on 9 hundred thousand of North Carolinians working families trying to make it here in North Carolina he eliminate eliminated the sales tax holiday with those families who were trying to get some schools supplies with their children to go back to school trying to save a little bit so they can have the activity fees during the upcoming year, and just recently he signed legislation that they would tax mortgage forgiveness as income adding in additional burden on looking families struggling to fail their homes after fore closure and thanks to Governor McCrory North Carolina gas tax will increase over one billion over the the next five years that's key because that was again on the backs of working North Carolinian who thought there would be a reduction in their gas tax now they get informed they can switch again, the big tax breaks go corporation and the wealthiest making over 900, 000 a year and you get an increase tax per gas, tax bill over the next five years, Governor McCrory have even risen tax on family activities, going to movie additional tax, going to sporting events additional tax, working family in North Carolina can't get a break, now the tax break anyway, across the board Governor McCrory priorities are clear, he spread more money in the pockets of those making more than 900, 000 a year in big business's and corporations but not helping working class families. They are being forced to turn over more and more of their hard earned paycheck and if that trend continues people will continue to thrive through this sessions. So we will fighting back to try to stop this. Rogan Thank youvery much  started doing all of our other elective officials who joins us today, now so far the responce so that we've seen is to, number one, attack the messager and number two just pretend that this isn't happening that these folks who were paying more just don't exist. So we brought some local residents who are paying more in taxes. Our first speaker is going to be Ben Kerry[sp?] from. Kerry is right we are here today to share our impact to the 2014 state employee tax paid income tax I became involved initially in this in early 2013 when there was talk of taxing the social security and I got in touch with [xx] by sent a representative[sp?] and talked with her assistant [xx] was a CBA we went through my 2012 taxes and discovered that if this was ineffective that time I was paid $1000 for it but fortunately the tax on social security was not change. However, I would say that if we would [xx] of the additional changes that were going to take place before we filed our taxes this year I think the election last fall would have been very different, but we find that when I prepared my 2014 state taxes I was

very surprised to see that it was going up 426% it went from $251 liability to 1380 [xx] tax liability pretty significant for someone who's living on social security pension and some to find that you now are paying over $100 per month on your state taxes which to me is quite drastic. My income, my gross income, me and my wife's gross income last year, rose 1.06% my taxes went up almost 500%. So I think something should be done about this, not just the medical deduction which I understand the HR46 is now addressing, but there's some and I'm sure the representatives here can address that, there's some discussion about the challenge that we'll have of passing, because it will cost the state additional money if  we are allowed to deduct our medical deduction, and as a 75 year old I'm sure others who are ages that is a major expense that we find during the year. but I also was very disturbed to see that my wife who was retiring from the state her retirement could any the government retirement is now considered and our private pensions which before was not taxed to the full limit is now disruptive first the property tax although very minor is still is as the expense that if you didn't have to pay taxes on it then it would help you [xx] I think it [xx] cost me an additional $9 in taxes by eliminating the personal property tax, but also the personal exemption $25000 in the previous year because 11 to eight [xx] my wife and I 5000 dollars, but think of what it would be if you had a family of four or five, that's a significant illumination of the reduction. So, I hope that we're able to get more, I would like to see HR46 pass to allow medical reduction, but I would also like to see some of these other issues addressed also that are hurting those to are in the middle class. Thank you.   Thank you Ken, and our next speaker is going to be Joyce Adams a small business owner from Wayne  County  Good morning everyone I'm Joyce Adams from Willow Spring NC. My son and I, Quincy Adams, are the owners of Adams Vineyards. We've become the owners in 2012, we have a  vineyard and a winery. My husband is the one who started that in 2006, opened the winery in then he passed away 2010, so we become the owners in 2012. The family has been, the farm has been in the family since 1700s there is none generations living informing there. And believe it or not we still live on a dirt road obviously we haven't paid enough taxes to have the road paved. Also the House bill 1050 the sales tax for forms exempt staff has fought us really bad because, you have to have over a period of three years $10, 000 profit where we haven't had that. So if we buy equipment, tractors or any kind of equipment for the ornery we have to pay taxes just like everybody else, We finally got to be tax exempt last year. And another thing there are no young farmers in Weiner county now, I report the agribusiness council and this year we could not fund a young farmer under 35 years old to give the award so the backbone of the nation is continually leaving, is becoming the big people.

From life is not easy, I'm here because the small business and the famine have both images most days I'm up by 4.30, never leave before 7.00 in the afternoon, if I have a wedding or party or something and it's midnight when I get home. And I have no salary because we are not able to have enough to pay day, my son gets a salary but I don't, so we are, we're struggling, I can't afford to go to the gym, I have to do my exercises by lifting 40 pound boxes of wine every day. So it would be great if they would bring back the tax zip or machinery and all that and also lower the taxes for small business because we do pay tremendous amounts of taxes, thank you. Thank you, Joyce and our file speaker is going to be Louise Bush. Thank you, for having me this morning I'm going to speak about the impact of the loss of the Medical deduction on the state income taxes this year. We know that this issue is being addressed by house bill 46, presented by Representative Catlin from Wilmington. However, this is only one small piece of the larger picture. We're hearing more about the larger picture I've just heard more about the larger picture and I want us to keep that in mind too. I hope to inform you about the serious impact that the 2013 tax law changes, particularly the elimination of the medical deductions are having on seniors in a voluntary sample of residence from continuing care of communities. As we began completing our incomes tax return we had severe sticker shots this year. Today our continuing care communities have received very specific information from 25 members who figured their taxes, as if the medical reduction were still available in 2014, as well as figuring them according to the law which actually applied. For single filers including primarily widows and widowers the average state tax increase between 2013 and 2014 was $13050. If the medical reduction had been in place, their average increase would have been only $501. Showing that an  increase of taxes due to loss of a medical reduction alone, was $849 on average for this single filling seniors. Married couples, This are seniors again filling jointly experience an average tax increase of $1407 with 998 of that increase due solely to the loss of the medical tax deduction. From my husband and myself, our state tax went from zero in 2013 to $999 for 2014, $669 of that increase was due to the loss of the medical patch deduction. In other words, the impact has been severe, our taxes went up, and most of that increase was due to the absence of the medical deduction. We must note that many who are not seniors also suffered from the loss of that deduction, and that those people's interests are not addressed  by HB 46, although I understand there is an amendment which will be offered to help include other people with higher medical expenses besides 10 years. So in summary I want to say that I hope that this changes the impact of these tax changes on the seniors and on others. We're not intended I hope that really we're not intended. I do hope the legislature will work to right this wrong and I appreciate your hearing me this morning, thank you very much. Thank you Luiz[sp?], thank you all of our speakers and elected officials and to you folks for joining us as well. I just wanted to sum up Luiz[sp?] had a very good point that, the medical expenses deduction doesn't just affect seniors. I had [xx] surgery last year, really could have used that deduction but my taxes rose because of

that by a couple of  hundred dollars and if you look at these tax hikes over here it really affects every demographic, from children all the way upto senior citizens and you look at the results of the poll and again, if anybody still needs a copy of that I'd be happy to, just speak to me afterwards. The poll results really affects really shows that these tax hikes do not discriminate, they are across the board North Carolinian and we really need to do a lot more to fix the unintended, well, I can't really say they are unintended, but fix the consequences of these so called reforms. Thank you, and if anybody will like to get a copy of that speak one on one with some of our speakers and be happy to set that up afterwards are there any questions in the meantime? Alright, well thank you very much, and I'll be happy to speak one on one afterwards