The Charlotte Observer's Jim Morrill has written an excellent article about the mess that is North Carolina's tax system. Go read the whole story - it's well worth the trouble - and keep your eyes open for some lively quotes from NC State Senator David Hoyle.
GASTONIA - N.C. officials have talked for years about modernizing a tax system that dates from the Great Depression. David Hoyle wants to get on with it.
"We've done some tinkering around the edges, but never really dug into the problem," says Hoyle, a Democratic state senator from Gaston County. "We didn't take on the tough things."
Hoyle, 67, is ready to do just that. The veteran lawmaker co-chairs the bureaucratically named State and Local Fiscal Modernization Study Commission. Its decisions could affect every N.C. taxpayer, from corporate CEOs to anybody who buys a CD or takes their car for repair.
Not everyone buys that, or even the notion that wholesale change is needed. "Before there's any consideration to find additional revenue, there should be restructuring of government," says Sen. Robert Pittenger, a Charlotte Republican. "I wouldn't address any form of tax increase or broadening the tax base until we have faithfully done our job to streamline our government and operate it in a cost-effective way. That is inexcusable."
To Hoyle, Pittenger is a leading flat-earther. "Simplistic people have got a simplistic answer for every problem we've got," he says.
"I get really disgusted," Hoyle says, "I get mad as hell, to be honest with you, when I read some of the letters legislators write to colleagues saying we're losing out because our taxes are too high."
I don't know much about Hoyle, but I like his style of calling bullshit on Party of Greeders like Robert Pittenger. Pittenger takes his anti-tax talking points straight from the John Locke Puppetshow, which only goes to show why we'd all be better off with fewer government-hating Republicans in public service.