Republican Richard Rivette did not respond.
Joel Ford, Democrat
Education: Bachelor degree Business Administration Marketing NC A&T state university.
Professional experience: Small business owner and currently Vice President Community Development, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare.
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Previous public offices: Seeking a third term to the NC Senate.
Family: Married with one daughter.
Would you support efforts to repeal HB2? Yes.
Would you support measures to transfer tax revenue from urban to rural counties? No. State revenue, not local revenue, is the appropriate source for directing income as needed throughout the state. The state already does this with funding formulas. For example, there are low-wealth funding formulas in education that give poorer counties more revenue. Taking locally-levied tax revenue from one county and giving it to another is unconstitutional as a violation of basic due process. For example, it is not a public purpose for the jurisdiction of Mecklenburg to give its money to Jones County.
Would you consider raising taxes for education? No. Currently the state of North Carolina has a 22.3 billion dollar budget. With 57% of state revenue going toward education. If the department of education needs more money we should look for creative ways to raise additional revenue and provide greater flexibility to local educational agency’s to cover needs.
Would you support further tax cuts? No. According to the Tax Foundation, North Carolina’s 2016 corporate tax rate of 4% is the lowest of the 44 states that have a corporate tax and North Carolina’s rate will drop even further to 3% in 2017 without further legislative action. In contrast, the individual income tax rate for 2016 is 5.75% and it is 5.499% for 2017. This disparity in the individual and corporate rates means that businesses that are organized as S corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships pay tax at significantly higher rates than C corporations because the income of these typically small businesses passes through to the individual owners and is taxed at the individual rate. For the 2016 tax year, the individual rate is about 43% higher than the C corporation rate. For 2017, the individual rate will be about 83% higher than the C corporation rate. I believe that small businesses should not be at a tax disadvantage to large C corporations.
What would you do to improve Mecklenburg County relationship with Raleigh? I would continue to work with local and state leaders to find solutions for Mecklenburg County.