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Blog

NC Budget & Tax Center: New organization, same commitment to a better NC

2022 has begun, and the work to advance opportunity by ensuring policies work for everyone — especially those historically excluded from the policy process — continues to stretch in front of us.

We are excited to take the first steps to build an organization that is fighting for policies that are responsive to what people need and laser-focused on the long-term and systemic change that will sustain our well-being.

We are grateful for the solid foundation that we are starting from. Years of our work as part of the North Carolina Justice Center gave us the chance to learn with talented colleagues and bring a range of training and experience to the work of fighting poverty in this new organization. Connections with our colleagues across the country, as part of the State Priorities Partnership and other networks — who are all working in their states to advance economic justice, sound fiscal policy, and anti-racist policies —provides us with constant insights and ideas into how to approach the work for maximum impact.

We are propelled forward by our state partners, community connections, and the leaders working across North Carolina who continue to ask compelling questions, seek our collaboration in finding the truth, and fight for proven solutions that will make lives better in our state.

In this moment, NC is faced with the ongoing threat to public health of this pandemic and the uneven recovery of jobs and income.

The final state budget that was passed last fall not only failed to make the necessary state commitments to well-being but set North Carolina on a path for the next decade that will continue to give more tax breaks to profitable corporations and the wealthy. In so doing, policymakers turned away from urgent priorities in classrooms and communities that would help people today and in the future, undermining not just our economy but our democracy.

The growing disconnect between the policy choices of elected leaders and what the people across North Carolina actually want — wildly popular things like health care, income supports and early childhood education, and a rejection of tax cuts for corporations — increases distrust in our democracy and the important role of government. Federal leaders could regain that trust by supporting systemic solutions like Build Back Better that would help people now and begin building systems that get us closer to resiliency as a country.

Our vision at the BTC is a state where everyone — no matter who they are or where they live — can reach their full potential. Where public health isn’t pitted against the economy, where public institutions protect us and serve the common good to deliver outcomes that are anti-racist, that undo the systemic barriers that have excluded Black, indigenous, and other people of color from opportunity.

Our work as an organization will continue to evolve, and we look forward to sharing more about our decision points and journey.

We will stay committed to learning as we go and gathering input from you and others across the state, and we are committed to making an impact together on the issues that will make sure all people have what they need.

We will continue to document fiscal and economic conditions.

We will spend time to connect with people and communities and forge connections to the policy process together.

We will advance proven policy and systems that secure economic and racial justice.

Our vision at the BTC is a state where everyone — no matter who they are or where they live — can reach their full potential. Where public health isn’t pitted against the economy, where public institutions protect us and serve the common good to deliver outcomes that are anti-racist, that undo the systemic barriers that have excluded Black, indigenous, and other people of color from opportunity.

We look forward to the challenges ahead and the opportunities to demonstrate the power of public investments, the expertise of people and partners across our state, and the reality that our public policy choices matter today and for generations.