In 2013, the North Carolina legislature eliminated medical expense deductions from the tax code. The issue was the primary focus of a recent political debate held at a senior living community in Porters Neck. The loss of the medical deductions was particularly contentious between the candidates for State House District 20, which covers the northern portion of New Hanover County.
Democrat Betsy Jordan challenged incumbent Rick Catlin for being part of the legislature that passed the 2013 budget:
"One of the things that happened in 2013 was there was a budget passed that eliminated all medical expense deductions. I completely disagree with that way of managing a budget. I believe that we need to honor our middle class. I believe we need to honor our senior class. Because I think that representing a community means representing the people in that community."
Representative Catlin says he has been leading the battle to reinstate the medical expense tax deductions:
"I was the only legislator that filed a bill to begin the process of restoring our senior citizens’ medical deductions. It did not make it through this deadline. But I stood up and I argued it on the floor every time there was a budget argument. And I now have the support of, I think, most of my colleagues to be able to pass that bill in the next session. The original bill was a compromise because of the short session budget issues; it restored up to $20,000 of your medical deductions, but in the next session I think we can get it all back."
Early voting ends on November 1st, and Election Day is November 4th.