Progress NC Action targets Jordan
by Anna Oakes
Advocacy group Progress
North Carolina Action has launched a campaign focused on Republican Rep. Jonathan Jordan of Jefferson and
other state legislators who supported a $3,500 tax break for business owners as part of this
year’s budget adjustment bill.
Democrats criticized the
tax break that would go to about 460,000 business owners because it would cost the state
approximately $336 million per year, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.
During this year’s budget deliberations, Republicans blocked a proposed
amendment that would have limited the tax break to businesses with income of $100,000 or
“State lawmakers created a tax loophole which puts
up to $3,500 in the pockets of wealthy lawyers, lobbyists, millionaires and even some lawmakers
themselves. Is Jonathan Jordan one of them?” states a new website,
Progress NC Executive Director
Gerrick Brenner and Research and Communications Director Justin Guillory visited Boone Wednesday
with a display of three large posters outside of the Watauga County Government Center.
One poster depicts a young girl at a chalkboard and a list of items on which
the $336 million could have spent — 5,500 more teachers, 6 million new textbooks, 67,000
children enrolled in pre-K or an iPad for every middle and high school student in the state, it
Another shows Jordan in a pile of money, while the other
quotes text from a News & Observer article on
the tax break.
Brenner said the group is actively targeting legislators who stand to benefit from the tax break.
doing this in the communities where we think the people will be interested,” he said.
“We would like him to take a pledge not to take this tax credit.”
Brenner said that in Watauga County, people are angry about cuts to pre-K
programs and significant budget cuts at Appalachian State University.
“There are real consequences to this stuff,” he said. “It has not gotten enough attention.”
Jordan said Thursday that he
doesn’t yet know if he will benefit from the tax break, as the tax-filing extension deadline
is Oct. 15.
“I don’t know if I made money from my
law firm,” he said.
Jordan said he doesn’t feel the
government should be “picking and choosing” who receives the tax break.
“I don’t know that we need to put arbitrary caps or anything like
that on a credit like this,” Jordan said. “It should be a level playing field for
anybody. I think it’s a better way to go as far as helping small businesses. Unless they have
a better idea, I would not be in favor of removing this tax credit.”
“What they’re obviously forgetting is we have put that $300 million
back into the private sector and into the economy,” Jordan said. “Jobs are what we need
in this economy.”
When asked if the campaign was more
about defeating Jordan in the upcoming election than asking him to repeal the tax break, Brenner
said, “Based on our conversations with him, he is laser-locked on ideology. Honestly, we
don’t know how many signatures it would take to change his mind.”
Brenner said Progress NC Action would be back in Boone for the Oct. 9 candidates forum
hosted by the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce.
The same group traveled to Boone in November 2011 with a display that criticized state education cuts resulting in lost classroom jobs. Progress NC representatives staged the display outside of a town hall event at ASU’s Broyhill Events Center held by Republican N.C. Speaker of the House Thom Tillis.