Cunningham Doubles Down On Raising Taxes By $1 Billion During Recession

July 29th, 2020

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – When Cal Cunningham was in the state legislature at the height of the 2001 recession, he voted for a budget that raised taxes by $1 billion. In a new story published by the Raleigh News and Observer today, Cunningham “stood by that vote and that budget.”

“After he doubled down on his decision to raise taxes by $1 billion during the 2001 recession, North Carolinians can now be certain that Cal Cunningham would disgracefully raise their taxes again at the federal level – even during a pandemic,” said campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo. “The path back to long-term economic prosperity is through Senator Tillis’ pro-growth policies of lowering taxes, reducing regulations and strong trade deals, not the liberal job killing policies Cal Cunningham would help Chuck Schumer implement.”

Some highlights from the News & Observer

  • Just days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, North Carolina Democratic state lawmakers ended a long stalemate by approving a new budget that included more than $1 billion in new tax revenue through an increase in the sales tax and on the state’s highest earners.
  • Incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis and his allies have used that vote to cast Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham as a supporter of higher taxes and said that he will vote to do so again in Washington.
  • According to reporting by The Charlotte Observer at the time, the two-year budget passed by Democratic state lawmakers and one House Republican in 2001 included a 1/2-cent statewide sales tax increase, for two years, that did not apply to food. It equaled 50 cents more for every $100 in purchases.
  • The sales tax went from 4% to 4.5 as a result. The increase ended up being extended until 2007 when it became 4.25%.
  • The overall tax increases amounted to $1 billion over two years.
  • It raised income taxes 1/2-percentage point, for three years, on single tax filers making more than $120,000 and joint filers making more than $200,000, creating a new tax bracket. North Carolina was the only state to raise personal income tax that year. A taxpayer earning $300,000 would have paid an additional $500.
  • It added a 6% state sales tax on liquor and out-of-state long distance calls, a 1% premium tax on HMOs and Blue Cross Blue Shield and a 5% sales tax on satellite TV, and removed the sales tax cap on luxury cars over $50,000.
  • It included a 9% tuition increase for universities and an increase in tuition at community colleges, but provided higher education with nearly $40 million for enrollment increases.
  • Cunningham was in his only term in the state Senate in 2001 and 2002. He has not held elected office since. He said last week that he stood by that vote and that budget.
  • In a February Democratic forum, Cunningham said he would replace the “2017 tax cuts with targeted tax cuts ”

Read the full article HERE