Since North Carolina Republican voters have proven incapable of looking out for their own best interests (You DID allow Roy Cooper to have the governorship, guys), Republican lawmakers have taken the lead to try and keep the state on track for fiscal success.
Besides the measures that would tie Cooper’s hands, state lawmakers have now proposed to place on next year’s ballot a state constitutional amendment that would cap income tax rates at 5.5 percent.
The goal is to protect the state from the tax-and-spend liberal agenda that has ruined the state in the past.
After the 36-13 vote, Senate Bill 75 moves to the House, where it will need at least 72 votes to pass and go on the November 2018 ballot. Gov. Roy Cooper has no say on proposed amendments.
Current tax rates are 5.499 percent for individuals and 3 percent for corporations.
There is actually already a tax cap included in North Carolina’s constitution, but it is set at 10 percent, which is just the kind of wiggle room Democrats do not need. They’ve already proven that they will push hard against that limit.
“This will implement taxation discipline in the future,” said Sen.
Tommy Tucker, R-Union. “I certainly hope that it will caution future General Assemblies to watch their spending.”
Democrats protested the move, saying it would tie the hands of future legislatures if the state needs to raise revenue to deal with an economic downturn or a natural disaster. That, in turn, could threaten North Carolina’s AAA bond rating and lead to higher borrowing costs.
Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake, said North Carolina has always had “two legs” for revenue growth: income tax and sales tax.
And that comes from jobs, which won’t come if they’re going to be taxed out of any reasonable profit for their efforts.
Things like this, that should be common sense, are the very reason you can’t talk to Democrats.
Democrats did the tax and spend thing in North Carolina, unchecked, for several decades and drove the state to the near-bottom of the nation, in terms of job attractiveness.
One Republican governor, in less than four years, fixed the tax code, slashed the tax rate, and made it rain jobs, shooting the state’s job attractiveness level up to the top like a rocket.
Apparently, Senator Chaudhuri isn’t really up on current events, past the fact that Republican voters sabotaged the wave of success in the state by allowing another big government, low morals, tax-and-spend Democrat to take the governorship.
Which makes a cap on income tax all the more important, when you take into consideration the new governor’s planned spending increases.
Alexandra Sirota, the director of the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center – a liberal think tank – said of the proposed amendment:
“By placing a low and arbitrary income tax cap into our state constitution, lawmakers are taking democracy out of the budget process,” Sirota said in a statement. “They are aiming to lock in their desired choices and limit the choices of North Carolinians tomorrow, 10 years from now and 100 years from now.”
The conservative Americans for Prosperity had a different take, however:
“This bill will protect individuals and families currently paying North Carolina’s lowest tax rate in decades from lawmakers who only see spending increases and tax hikes,” AFP state director Donald Bryson said in a statement.
And I’ll say it’s a real shame that the state couldn’t maintain a balance and we now have a need for the General Assembly to work as a safeguard against the governor and his cabinet, rather than working in conjunction with him, but we are where we are because of a lack of genuine interest in the well-being of the state by the voters. We can only hope Republicans do better in 2018 and turn out to assure our General Assembly is kept red.
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