Calling them “paltry,” Gov. Roy Cooper today vetoed a bill that would have provided teachers with a 3.9% pay raise over two years.
“It’s clear to me that legislators want to do this, and we shouldn’t accept these paltry pay raises when we have an opportunity to do more,” Cooper told reporters Friday morning at a news conference at the Executive Mansion in downtown Raleigh.
Republican legislative leaders were quick to point out that Cooper has vetoed every teacher pay raise sent to his desk since assuming office, and accused him of using teachers as “pawns.”
“Teachers are told to be good, loyal Democrats and their union and their Governor will take care of them. But they need to ask themselves: ‘What has Roy Cooper ever done for me?’ He’s vetoed every single teacher pay raise that’s come across his desk, and he chose today to give teachers nothing for the next two years,” Berger said.
Cooper also voiced his willingness to engage in further negotiations on teacher pay, separate from budget vetoes or Medicaid expansion discussions.
And claiming “This legislation prioritizes corporate tax cuts over investments in education,” Cooper also vetoed HB 578, which would have reduced the franchise tax on businesses. The franchise tax is assessed on the net worth of a business. The tax is imposed on all businesses, big or small, forcing struggling businesses that are unprofitable, or small businesses with little or no assets, to still pay at least the minimum $200 each year.
According to this Tax Foundation’s analysis, “reducing the franchise tax would make the state (North Carolina) even more attractive as a destination for business investment.” The franchise tax works as a disincentive to invest in the state. “Franchise taxes can be especially burdensome to new businesses, capital-intensive businesses, and struggling businesses because they are owed even when businesses post losses or barely break even,” wrote Tax Foundation analyst Katherine Loughead. More investment means more jobs, and bigger paychecks, for more North Carolinians.
Moreover, Cooper criticizing the prioritization of corporate tax cuts over investments in education is especially rich given his ongoing blatant hypocrisy on the issue. Cooper rails against corporate tax cuts out of one side of his mouth while bragging about huge corporate giveaways out of the other side of his mouth.