This Pi Day, the pie is shrinking in NC. Here’s what that means for North Carolinians

Pi is a mathematical constant that is roughly equal to 3.14, which makes today, March 14, a good time to celebrate it. We’re celebrating Pi Day by putting together some pie charts about another constant — the need for corporations and the wealthy to pay what they owe through taxes as part of the collective commitment to a North Carolina where everyone has what they need to thrive

Income inequality grew for the first time last year since 2011 nationally. The richest 20 percent of North Carolinians continue to hold more than half of the household income in the state. The poorest 40 percent of North Carolinians hold just over 10 percent of income in the state.

North Carolina’s income tax provides a critical source of public dollars to invest in opportunity across the state, but legislative leaders have been relentless in cutting the income tax rates for corporations and the wealthiest individuals. The result is that a greater share of NC’s budget funds comes from sales tax, which means those with low- and middle-incomes pay a greater portion of their income when when buying goods and certain services in our state.

Proposals to cut the personal income tax in North Carolina will further line the pockets of the already well off. Two-thirds of the dollars from a personal income tax rate cut to 2.5 percent will mostly go to the richest 20 percent.

This Pi Day, we demand legislators grow the pie and stop forcing us to fight over the scraps. A budget that makes certain that people have what they need and that inequality isn’t growing must be built on a long-term vision and the input from people across the state.