tax reform

Their one big accomplishment?

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.

Tillis tries to defend tax reform with incoherent rambling

Of course, that's just a guess. Analysts are still trying to decipher what he said:

But Tillis, a 53-year-old former IBM executive who has the strong backing of the GOP establishment but is by no means the prohibitive front-runner, is betting that Southern Democrats who once thrived here are dying breeds because of the liberal policies coming out of Washington. He is defiant about North Carolina’s hard-right turn, calling it a “reform agenda unlike any other state in the United States.”

“I think for the most part, what I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers,” he said in an interview in his Raleigh office. “They lost, they don’t like it, and they are going to try to do everything they can to, I think, cast doubt on things that I think are wise and that the average citizen when they know what we’re doing, I think, like it.”

Um, what? Did Thom's doctor cut him off from caffeinated coffee or something? I think his repetitive use of the phrase "I think" (four times, no less) is an effort to jump-start his brain, not unlike when you get a straight-gear car rolling and then pop the clutch. It's not working.

NC GOP tax reform: tax student meals to pay for tax cuts for the rich

That bitter aftertaste is voter's remorse:

Meal plans and event tickets sold on North Carolina university campuses were formerly exempt from the state’s 6.75 percent sales tax, but the N.C. General Assembly repealed that exemption over the summer. The change takes effect Jan. 1.

“To give you an example with real numbers, (consider) the Value 14 — currently that plan is $1,725, so it’s going to go up to $1,854. It’s about a $129 increase,” said Mike Freeman, director of auxiliary services. “But it’s not money we get. It’s going straight to the Department of Revenue.”

And that money going straight to the Department of Revenue is coming (mostly) from North Carolina's shrinking middle-class, who Republicans have abandoned. Actually, they never cared for the middle-class in the first place, so "abandoned" may be an inappropriate term. "Screwed again" is much closer to the truth.

NC GOP snubs entrepreneurs by letting tax credit expire

Apparently "business-friendly" only applies to big business:

A tax credit that acted as an incentive for investors to take financial risks on start-up businesses was not renewed as part of this year’s tax reform initiative, a senior adviser to the governor said Friday. The expiration of the tax credit was a concern for some investors at last week’s CED Tech Venture Conference in Raleigh, which brought start-up companies as well together with potential business investors.

The credit, which expires Jan. 1, is for 25 percent of an investment or $50,000, whichever is less. The total amount of credit awards per year is capped at $7.5 million.

North Carolina has hosted more than its fair share of start-up companies in the last decade or so, and it's pure foolishness to assume that will continue by taking a critical element like this tax credit out of the formula. If the GOP keeps "fixing" things that aren't broken, NC will soon find itself listed in magazines under the top five worst places to do business.

Take a Hike, Thom

Originally posted at

Today, the Young Democrats of North Carolina released it's newest :30 web ad, "Take a Hike," on - a website launched to fight back against the "Tillis Tax Hike," HB 998. HB 998 was passed by Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) and NC House Republicans under the guise of tax reform, but the proposal will raise taxes, on average, on the bottom 95% of North Carolinians. GrowNCWrong - a play on the pro-Tillis Super PAC - is telling the truth about Tillis's middle class tax hike and the NC House's plan to divest from everything that makes NC great.

Phil Berger: Middle class tax increase = more freedom and control

Maybe our friends at NC Policy Watch will do a line-by-line rebuttal to this official spin from The Master of Deceit. This was received via email by a friend from Phil Berger's spokesbot.


Dear Ms. Jones:

Thank you for your email – and for your honest feedback. Senator Berger values the opportunity to hear from constituents across the state and sincerely appreciates your taking the time to write. North Carolina’s tax code is outdated and its taxes are excessive. It’s no coincidence that North Carolina has the highest taxes in the Southeast and one of the worst employment rates in the country. States that have no income tax are the very same states that have a booming economy and job growth. States that have high income taxes are struggling.

The NC GOP's assault on the poor & middle class

Every single member of the General Assembly needs to ask him- or her-self one critical question: how will raising the taxes on 80% of the voting population affect my chances for reelection? While there are definitely more moral questions they should be asking at this time, they've demonstrated a unique ability to ignore such aspects, so the practicality of pissing off a supermajority of the citizens may be the only thing that penetrates those hard heads:

No appetite

Please check out our new video No Appetite from YDNC on Vimeo.

Call Senator Phil Berger at (919) 733-5708 and ask him to stop his Middle Class Tax Hike.

Only 10% Support Berger Plan

Originally posted at For those with tl;dr attention spans, here's a link to the poll itself - crosstabs and all.

Only 10% of North Carolina voters surveyed support a tax plan before the North Carolina Senate according to a Public Policy Polling poll.

81% of voters - including 79% of Republicans - oppose tax reform that would lower state income taxes, the corporate tax, and business franchise tax rates while cutting state spending, raising the tax on groceries by 225%, taxing over 100 goods and services that are not currently taxed, and taxing prescription drugs like any other product. Full results here.

"An overwhelming majority of North Carolina voters are opposed to Senator Phil Berger's working class tax hike," said YDNC President Sam Spencer. "Senate Republicans need to take a long, hard look at whether they're willing to pay the electoral price for supporting Berger's plan. Voters have no appetite for a Republican grocery tax hike."

Those poor tax reformers

Political troubles looming in the next election cycle:

So in next spring’s primary, for example, we can expect that anti-tax, tea-party Republicans who vote for any tax-reform measure will get hit with a charge that they supported a tax increase. After the bills are debated, and maybe approved, we will have to look at the broad picture, not just small pieces, to determine if an incumbent represented us well. And as we do that, we should have a little sympathy for these veterans of the no-win battle of tax reform.

You know where sympathy falls in the dictionary, right? Those who would shift the tax burdens from the wealthy to the poor will not get a single whit of sympathy from me. When you choose to aid a small minority of the population who need no aid at the expense of a much larger portion who already do, you've surrendered your right to be treated with patience and respect, much less sympathy. Let them spin until their heads fall off.

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