Together NC is a broad and diverse collection of non-profit organizations, service providers, and professional associations who have come together to promote wise choices for shared prosperity for all North Carolinians (Click here to see a full list of Together NC partners). Now more than ever, in the face of severe economic recession, we must speak with one voice about the need to maintain and build upon the public investments that support the fabric of our community. To this end, we call upon our state leaders to make decisions informed by the following set of shared principles:
Revenue solutions must be adequate, stable, and fair
We must reform our outdated revenue system to ensure we have the resources to meet current needs and to invest in our future. First, the system must be adequate so that revenue grows with the economy. Also, the system should ensure all individuals and businesses pay their fair share meaning those with the smallest incomes pay the smallest share of their incomes in taxes. And finally, our system must be stable so it does not overreact to changes in the economy. Rather than tinkering with rates or making temporary changes, our state needs a 21st century revenue system for our 21st century economy.
Build upon our sound public investments
Now is the time to build upon past successes with new and strategic public investments in the structures, services and natural resources that make our state such a desirable place to live and that will help us weather the economic storm. By focusing our collective attention on smart investments, we can ensure that opportunities for good health, economic prosperity, and personal fulfillment can be achieved by all.
Think big, think forward
Now more than ever is the time for long-term thinking and lasting solutions. North Carolina is a rapidly growing and changing state. Quick fixes will only postpone fundamental decisions. We must address our current challenges, but at the same time, ensure we position our state for a prosperous and competitive future.
Only a balanced approach will work
The reality is spending isn’t North Carolina’s problem. Spending per person is actually down from eight years ago. This is a fiscally conservative state, and we don’t go on spending sprees. This means there’s very little fat to be trimmed from vital state programs and services, but we can still make wiser, cost-saving budget choices
The fundamental root of North Carolina’s fiscal troubles lies in how it collects revenue. The state’s antiquated, inefficient, and volatile revenue system plays an enormous role in the current fiscal crisis. It is at least as much to blame for the state’s money troubles as the recession.
Cutting alone is not only an insufficient solution to balancing our budget, but it would also jeopardize our past investments and future prosperity. The balanced way to address our current fiscal crisis is to make wise spending choices, while at the same time modernizing our antiquated revenue system.