Two weeks into the new year, there's one thing we can safely say about tax reform, the NCGOP's major legislative accomplishment for 2013. It is an unmitigated disaster. Among the many groups who are already suffering under the weight of reform are students, people who heat their homes, people who go to movies, people who buy mobile homes, and most of all, tens of thousands of businesses who now have to comply with the burden of new rules.
New taxes on business services that have traditionally not a subject of taxation won’t come easy or without opposition. The addition of an eight percent fee on every day services on top of the already existing sales tax for retail goods sold will hit many regular folks hard in the pocketbook. Further, for businesses who have not been used to collecting and reporting taxes, it will represent an added layer of government bureaucracy to deal with on a daily basis and add to the expense of running a business.
For a party that likes to talk about keeping government bureaucracy out of business, the NCGOP has done the unthinkable. They have added onerous new burdens that make starting and running a small service business almost unbearable. And now every business in North Carolina is an unwilling part of their reckless power grab.
North Carolina had an opportunity to spur commerce and promote business by eliminating sales taxes altogether. By doing so, we could have simplified taxes enormously and preserved the progressive nature of our tax code. Instead, we got a half-assed tax scheme that complicates the lives of millions, raises taxes on the poor and middle class, and further deepens the gap between the top 1% and everyone else.
Nice job, Republicans. You can't get anything right.