January 13, 2022

So we wrote about the amazing record of tax cuts passed by the NC General Assembly in the last decade in a recent blog.  And we got a reaction.

The News & Observer Editorial Board did an opinion piece that made light of our praise for the tax-cutters in the legislature and the savings gained by tax cuts in the personal income tax for NC taxpayers.

The N&O editorial sages brushed right by the accolades for North Carolina’s tax reformers by the national Tax Foundation – as they put it “hailing North Carolina’s tax cuts, which will reduce individual income tax rates nearly by half between 2013 and 2027.”

Instead they focused on the typical liberal rant of saying how much was not spent on liberal programs. Ignoring how the entire tax reform movement in the legislature has helped encourage job growth and boosted North Carolina’s economy.

The N&O’s “better explanation” for why most North Carolinians aren’t aware of the tax cuts had little to do with the lack of media coverage for anything good passed by the legislature to help individuals and families keep more of their hard-earned money.

Instead, they said it was because “the largest share of the reductions have gone to corporations and the state’s top 20 percent of earners. Meanwhile, taxpayers have seen the sales tax applied to online sales and more services, fees and fines have increased and urban counties have increased property taxes to make up for inadequate state funding for schools and services.”

Let’s look at that statement and offer some thoughts.

  • First, the personal income tax cut is much larger and involves a great deal more money than the corporate income tax cut in terms of total dollars.
  • The tax cuts are much higher on a percentage basis for lower income brackets compared to higher income brackets.
  • Then you must realize that the main thrust of legislative tax reformers in recent years has been to make the tax rate flatter and affect everyone than the old liberal “progressive” tax structure of the past that punished hard workers.

In disparaging the state legislators’ tax cuts, the N&O editorialists addressed how “taxpayers have seen the sales tax applied to online sales and more services.”  That is interesting because the tax on online sales is the result of a US Supreme Court decision, which allows states to tax sales over the internet.  That is something NC retailers and mom-and-pop stores have hoped for to even things up and not let the big national internet sales companies have an unfair tax break.

So we stand by the fact that North Carolina has become a national leader in tax reform as acknowledged by the Tax Foundation, and that North Carolina taxpayers have benefitted.

It’s kind of sad that the N&O would mock the tax cuts North Carolina taxpayers do gain from at a time when consumers are getting slammed by out-of-control inflation and losing their buying power on so many consumer goods.

The little guy and the middle-class families are hurting, and that’s who the Reform Majority has been trying to look out for.

Our history in North Carolina has been that the state legislature either falls one way or the other:  the liberal approach where legislators support more and more government programs that require more and more in taxes from hard-working taxpayers; or the conservative approach where legislators who believe that way put the breaks on government program creation, allow free enterprise to grow our economy, create jobs and let people keep more of their money to conduct their affairs with freedom and keep taxes low.

We’ll take the conservative approach adopted in recent years by the Reform Majority in the NC General Assembly any day.