WHEN $1.3 BILLION ISN’T ENOUGH

It seems the conservative reformers on Jones Street are getting serious about a Constitutional Amendment that gives voters the chance to cap tax rates and handcuff big-spending politicians.

The House Finance Committee approved the tax cap last week, and the entire House is poised to sign off soon. This is good news for taxpayers, good news for the state’s economy and, according to our recent statewide issues poll, good for the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians who support the check on politicians.

It should be good news for everyone. Even the enemies of reform – the politicians and interest groups lusting after higher taxes – should be heartened by the tax increases still available to them under the cap. At least $1.3 billion in income taxes alone:

Tax $Billion per 1% Rate Increase Current Rate Proposed Cap Potential Revenue Increase
Sales Tax $1,600,000,000 4.75% N/A
PIT $2,350,000,000 5.25% 5.50% $587,500,000
CIT $240,000,000 2.50% 5.50% $720,000,000

 

Yet the Roy Cooper-Jim Goodman mindmeld of editorial page editors and fake policy centers has recycled its favorite hair-on-fire adjectives to crank up the outrage and deny voters a voice: “devastating” and “haunting” and “severe” and “radical.”

Why such hysteria? Because $1.3 billion isn’t enough.

Ridiculous? Yes. Surprising? It probably shouldn’t be.

It was less than a decade ago when teachers were furloughed and state salaries frozen DESPITE a one billion dollar hike in the state sales tax. When you spend it all, a billion won’t cut it. $1.3 billion won’t either. No amount ever will. Which is exactly why voters deserve a shot at handcuffing the big spenders in November.