Politics

North Carolina Legislators Reject Teacher Tax Exemption

| by Emily Smith
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Raleigh legislators rejected a proposal from Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson on Monday, who suggested that teachers should be exempt from personal income taxes.

The tax break for K-12 teachers and charter teachers would cost the state $250 million, according to the state Department of Public Instruction. North Carolina would also be the first state to implement the exemption.

“While the idea may be well-intentioned,” Representative David Lewis, a Harnett County Republican and a tax-plan author, said, “I don’t think that particular one is as well thought out as it should have been.”

The proposal was announced after frustration with teacher salaries, which starts at only $30,800 a year, emerged from both parties. A teacher must have 15 years of experience before they qualify for the next category of pay at $40,000.

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The House and Senate have both developed separate tax proposals, neither of which include any mention of Atkinson’s suggestion. The Republican effort, especially, has been focused of expanding the tax base instead of shrinking it. The tax burden will in fact weigh on citizen shoulders, with both the House and Senate hoping to lower corporate income taxes in an effort to attract businesses and create jobs.

Sources: The Charlotte Observer, The News Observer