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Dedicated to a Better North Carolina.

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Capital Tonight Interview: Sen. Josh Stein (Part 2 of 2)

Capital Tonight Interview: Sen. Josh Stein (Part 1 of 2)

Sen. Josh Stein

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Today, I offered an amendment to a tax bill to help middle class families that the Senate killed through another procedural trick.

NC has the 14th highest foreclosure rate in the nation. Many homeowners are underwater, meaning that they owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. Sometimes the lender concludes that it is in its own best interest to reduce the mortgage principal, either to modify the loan so the homeowner can stay in the home or to facilitate a short sale to help the homeowner escape his or her debt. Either way, the homeowner avoids the pain and expense of foreclosure and the neighborhood is stabilized.

This is entirely a ledger transaction where no cash is exchanged. To force a working family to pay taxes means that the homeowner has to come up with approximately $4,000 of cash – cash that most don’t have because they are struggling in the first place! It creates tax cheats out of people who are just trying to get back on their feet.

For this very reason, even the Republican-controlled Congress saw fit to consider this relief as nontaxable income. More than 40 state legislatures, Democratic and Republican controlled alike, do not consider this taxable income. AGs from around the country of both parties have urged policymakers not to tax this type of debt forgiveness.

But not the NC Senate. Just a day after they proposed $575 million in tax giveaways to large corporations, they refuse to help 4,000 NC families. They appear not to care about what regular folks are going through.

The NC House previously stripped this provision out of an earlier bill. Please email your state representative and ask him or her to do right by struggling middle class families in NC and vote this provision down.
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NC is #42 in teacher pay in '14-'15 & #46 in per K-12 pupil investment - the lowest in the Southeast. We actually spent less last year per student than we did the the year before!

We need leadership that actually prioritizes our kids' educations, not just talk about it.
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