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@NCCapitol

McCrory signs tax bill

Posted July 23, 2013

— It's official.

Gov. Pat McCrory has signed the 2013 tax bill into law. The measure lowers corporate and personal income taxes, but falls short of the more sweeping reform some legislative leaders envisioned at the beginning of the year

Critics, mainly Democrats and liberal policy groups, have lambasted the tax bill as draining resources from state government. They point to a state budget poised to be passed this week that contains no raises for state employees or teachers as a consequence of the tax measure. 

"This tax reform will give teachers making approximately $40,000 to $45,000 a 1 percent increase in take-home pay," McCrory said. "That's good news for teachers."

That doesn't seem to be borne out by either the tax or budget bills. It would take most teachers without special master's degrees or national board certifications roughly 15-to-20 years to hit a rung on the salary schedule that would have them earning $40,000. 

"I am a 5th year teacher in Jackson County. I make $30,800. I take home less than I did when I started teaching. I don't really think I will ever make $40,000 a year unless I move to another state," said Leigh Ayling, an K-through-8 art teacher.

WRAL asked via Twitter and Facebook how long teacher thought it would take to reach $40,000 in salary. Several asked that their names not be used. 

Many who responded were in their fourth or fifth year of teaching and still getting paid the $30,800 per year a starting teacher makes due to salary freezes. 

A few who worked for bigger school districts said they went up the salary ladder more quickly.

"When I moved to teach in Wake County, I was hired at just under $40,000 in 2002, but I came in with two master's degree already earned and 6 years of job experience," said one teacher who asked not to be named. "Today I earn approximately $59,000, but am a single parent with a disabled adult child for whom I am responsible."

Even given that, said that teacher, she is considering leaving the state for other jurisdictions friendlier to teachers.

Far more common were answers like one from Amanda Pierce of Martin County.

"I still haven't hit $40,000 and I have been teaching for nine years and have earned a Master's Degree and National Board Certification. I also receive additional salary incentives for serving as the countywide support coach for new teachers and serve as a mentor to new teachers," said Pierce, who teaches second grade.

Most of the 30-plus teachers who responded as of 5:10 p.m. said it would take them at least 15 years to reach $40,000 in annual salary. Several teachers replied saying they don't foresee a time when they will be paid more than $40,000 per year. 

"Five years at $30,800 - the lowest rung on the pay ladder - and this will be my last year," said Tiffany McEachern, a high school science teacher in Wilmington. "I love what I do, but I can't continue to struggle to make ends meet."

McEachern said she is going back to school to become a nurse practitioner.

"I really don't think it matters how much attention this subject gets, the policy makers that are in office have their set agenda and I don't see them deviating from that agenda, unfortunately," she said.

Also, according to tables posted with the tax reform bill, a married couple filing jointly with two kids and $40,000 in income won't save 1 percent on their taxes. A 1 percent tax break for that family doesn't come about unless the household earns $250,000 per year or more. A household earning $100,000 per year with two children would save $364, or 0.4 percent. 

McCrory held the bill signing at the Executive Mansion, complete with bill signing tropes such as handing pens used to sign the documents to lawmakers who authored the bill and key administration officials, such as Budget Director Art Pope and Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker.

127 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • melaniemeredith Jul 26, 7:35 p.m.

    We do not receive a pension. WE pay into a retirement system. WE are paid by money WE put into the system. No one pays us.....

  • melaniemeredith Jul 26, 7:33 p.m.

    For those who don't believe that it would take 15 years at a bachelor's salary for a teacher to make $40,000 Here it is in black and white: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/fbs/finance/salary/schedules/2012-13schedules.pdf

    Now, someone will say, well, there's master's pay... Well, they just cut that too! Only if a teacher is being paid this school year on the master's schedule will they keep their master's pay!

    Back in 2008-2009 when this whole debacle started, it took a teacher 12 years to make $40,000; however, they made step raises per contract each year. Currently, they are frozen for the first 5 years at $30,800. http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/fbs/finance/salary/schedules/2012-13schedules.pdf

    I make less with a masters and 15 years then I did 5 years ago w/ a Bachelors and 10 years experience. If you want to know.. Google NC Teacher's Salary Schedule!

  • davidgnews Jul 24, 2:13 p.m.

    I anticipate a move towards more private schools with minimally qualified personnel (1 year certificate) that they can pay even lower wages to. Groogrux

    There are many private schools now that are not up to the level of public schools. The push behind this 'choice' has as much to do with using legal means to achieve segregation. It's little wonder, since so many in the GA had Dixiecrat parents that pushed their fears on them.

  • wildpig777 Jul 24, 2:03 p.m.

    While the teachers are barred from striking (I believe) or forming a union, the State CANNOT MAKE you teach either. If a large majority simply quit, the State would HAVE to pay more to get teachers in the classrooms. Simple economics. What are you afraid of?-- homestead

    thats what i've been saying for yrs homestead-- every STATE EMPLOYEE OUGHTA WALK OFF THE JOB TILL this state-- both it's citizens and it's politicans get real about what a shaft job state employees and teachers have been getting for the last 40 yrs.

    i really think a state wide total walkout is the only thing that will bring about change.

  • Groogrux Jul 24, 1:47 p.m.

    Homesteader, you're right. But most of us love teaching and want to stay in the profession. Just because we raise concerns about working conditions doesn't mean we want to leave. I also know that some of the vile rhetoric on these message boards is not a reflection of the general public, particularly the parents who I work with to help their children. If it continues to get worse, people will continue to leave. I anticipate a move towards more private schools with minimally qualified personnel (1 year certificate) that they can pay even lower wages to.

  • Homesteader79 Jul 24, 1:25 p.m.

    My neighbor made more than $40k last year delivering pizzas. Why in the world would ANYONE teach in North Carolina? Guess what? While the teachers are barred from striking (I believe) or forming a union, the State CANNOT MAKE you teach either. If a large majority simply quit, the State would HAVE to pay more to get teachers in the classrooms. Simple economics. What are you afraid of?

  • davidgnews Jul 24, 12:10 p.m.

    maybe now we can get people in NC back to work!!
    arfamr1008

    None of this has anything to do with jobs. If it ever does, we're talking minimum wage. It's all about ALEC.

  • arfamr1008 Jul 24, 12:06 p.m.

    maybe now we can get people in NC back to work!!

  • davidgnews Jul 24, 11:39 a.m.

    If they really want to cut wasteful spending, they need to completely shake down the Administration division of Purchase and Contracts.

    They have so many over-priced vendors that take this state to the cleaners on a regular basis. Many of them are either minority- or female-owned businesses that automatically get an 'affirmative' advantage over the 'regular competition.' It's a big sham, but no one seems to want to address this problem. This type of patronage needs to end.

    I found this out when I was a state employee trying to order supplies and computers. It's a serious racket in Raleigh.

    Nearly everything I saw on contract was way more expensive than you could buy at local stores, but the deal was set. It's just more corruption at its not-so-finest.

  • babedan Jul 24, 11:20 a.m.

    gold, I doubt she is way more educated that the average worker, with all the tech people we have here, the colleges, the corporations, the military, yes there are plenty of enlisted people in the military with Masters and above, making less than she is by the way, I doubt it is way above, May be above but again, look who pays her salary. And that 55K is for 10 months she is making what would be 66750 per year that scale

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