In response to the North Carolina House and Senate tax plans unveiled today, AARP North Carolina Director Doug Dickerson issued the following statement:
“Today, the House and Senate unveiled three bills to reform North Carolina’s tax code. These threaten the health and financial security of seniors and most families, and are unacceptable. Any proposals that include new taxes on seniors, prescription drugs, and food – the basic essentials of daily living for seniors and millions of hard working North Carolinians – will face opposition from AARP members, and AARP will fight to prevent such legislation.
“AARP members want to reform our tax system just as legislators do, but these so-called “reform” proposals are dead-end detours that won’t lead to economic growth for all.
• At the same time, these seniors spend 14 percent of their monthly income on prescription drugs and other out-of-pocket health care costs.
• North Carolina ranks among the worst states when it comes to adult hunger. One out of every 10 North Carolinians over age 50 is “food insecure,” meaning, they risk going to bed hungry every night.
“Food, prescription drugs, and retirement income aren’t luxuries – they are the essentials of daily living. Seniors can’t afford to pay unnecessary taxes on these basic necessities – a fact recognized by most other states in the country. Today, only 10 states currently tax groceries, while only Illinois taxes prescription drugs.
“We urge North Carolina lawmakers to protect seniors and hard working families – their health and financial security – not threaten their well-being.”