As President Reagan once said, “there you go again.”
The Republican legislative leaders and Governor McCrory have agreed on a so-called tax reform plan that will soon make it to the Governor’s desk and break their very promise to pass a revenue neutral and broad reform plan. What this plan is is a raw deal for North Carolina by saying one thing and doing another.
This plan is not reform. It’s a tax cut for millionaires and billionaires and out-of-state corporations through essentially implementing a flat tax in our state. Real tax reform should focus on closing special interest loopholes and strengthening our progressive tax scheme. Instead of taking this approach, Republicans are gambling a potential 2.4 billion dollar revenue shortfall over 5 years based on failed economic policy once called “voodoo economics” and will result in cuts to education and critical public services.
Republican tax bill raises taxes on 390,000 small businesses as well as families who are already struggling to make ends meet. These families will lose their deduction for retirement savings while paying new taxes on their energy bills, service contracts and even trips to the movies. This tax plan eliminates programs such as North Carolina’s back-to-school sales tax holiday after eliminating the states Earned Income Tax Credit. Not to mention republicans have raised millions in new taxes through fee increases.
If Republicans in Raleigh were serious about tax reform, they would be pushing North Carolina towards a system dramatically overhauled to reflect a change towards our new service-based economy. Instead they’re creating an atmosphere that will make North Carolina uncompetitive with the 49 other states as evident that in one year our state went from 4th in the nation as the best state to do business to the 12th.
It is up to the Democrats to call out the hypocrisy in the Republican tax plan and propose a bright new path forward in keeping North Carolina competitive through real tax reform and leave it to Republican leadership to continue to break its promises to North Carolina’s citizens.
*This ran on WCHL as a commentary on the Republican tax proposal.