Thursday, April 16, 2015

We Perceive That We've Been Screwed

Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer
The Republican overlords in the North Carolina General Assembly promised that everyone's taxes were going down when they passed their flat-tax revision. We were in a crowd of 25-30 people this week, and someone thought to poll everyone in the room: Did your taxes go down?

There was a resounding "NO!" from a majority of people in that room. Some said their state taxes had remained about even with last year, and a few weren't sure.

The overwhelming opinion was that the Republicans in the General Assembly had not delivered on their promise. Many tax deductions were gone, along with tax credits for child care, disability, property taxes on farm machinery, as well as deductions for college savings plans. If you own a yacht, however, or a private jet, you've still got your tax credit for those "necessaries," though no one in that room owned a yacht or a private jet.

The "Carolina Comeback" that Governor Squishy used to tout has been a mirage for most taxpayers. Unless you're making $900,000 a year, and up, you didn't see much in the way of economic benefit. In the meantime, the state's budget has fallen into an ever deepening black hole of deficit, and the decline in basic services threaten to turn North Carolina into a third-world society, or worse, Mississippi.

A recent PPP survey commissioned by the NC Justice Center’s Budget & Tax Center found that 60 percent of North Carolinians, including half of Republicans, say their taxes went up in the last year. Only 8 percent believe they went down.

In a very sensible blog post, Thomas Mills suggests that Republicans -- particularly our woebegone governor, who isn't gerrymandered into a safe seat -- are going to pay the electoral price next year for promising the moon and delivering a swamp.

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