Taxes

Consider me a Fitz Fan - Tax Myths

So, I've been going through the Fitz files and found a great Election Year Myths post. The tax myths that caught my eye below the fold, you really must read this.
p.s. I really tried to find a photo of him, but he seems elusive...like a ninja.

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Signs of Blue in Fayetteville?

In recent years, I've learned not to expect much from the editorial pages of North Carolina newspapers, so it's always a pleasant surprise when one nails a tough topic to the wall. That's what happened today at the Fayetteville Observer. I've rarely seen such honest sentiments written so clearly.

Many taxpayers are comfortable with the fiction that their elected officials enjoy nothing quite so much as raising taxes, and do it at every opportunity. For most, it’s more like root canal.

County boards of commissioners usually will pull every trick in the book to hold the property tax rate down for one more year — especially in an election year. In this election year, however, conventional wisdom has gone out the window as school construction needs have soared and lottery revenues have sagged. As the end of the fiscal year approached, almost a third of North Carolina’s 100 boards had signaled a readiness to jack up rates.

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SNAFU


 



I'm having a hard time getting my brain around an article I found this morning in the Montpelier, Vermont, newspaper. If there were ever a tribute to the incompetence of the Bush administration, this is it:

The diversion of dollars to help fight the war in Iraq has helped create a $530 million shortfall for Army posts at home and abroad, leaving some unable to pay utility bills or even cut the grass. In San Antonio, Fort Sam Houston hasn't been able to pay its $1.4 million monthly utility bill since March, prompting workers in many of the post's administrative buildings to get automated disconnection notices. Fort Bragg in North Carolina can't afford to buy pens, paper or other office supplies until the new fiscal year starts in October.

Mike Easley, Good Democrat, Rolls Out a Budget

Asheville Citizen-Times: "Gov. Mike Easley today proposed an $18.9 billion budget for the next fiscal year that would use a historic surplus for 8 percent teacher raises, a quarter-penny decrease in the sales tax and nearly $90 million to accelerate mental health reform."

Ah, fiscal sanity. Can you dig it?

Show me one Republican who's going to stand against raising teacher's pay and cutting taxes? I love this proposal.

Also, as a mental health professional, it's a relief to see that the governor gets it on mental health reform. The current reform is underfunding area programs and cutting services that no one else performs.

A Republican Congress Spending Spree

ththththththwthwthwthweeeeeeeeeeeeeep.....(make this sound as you inhale giving the "p" a little pop at the end.)

That was the sound of your wallet getting lighter.

The Republican led Congress is contemplating raising the debt ceiling again after raising it only two months ago. These monkeys never met a budget they could stick to. The stenographers at The Washington Post are calling it a "bump" as the debt ceiling nears $10 trillion.

More budget news on the flip side...

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Gov. Easley to President Bush: "Stop Waiting and Start Helping."

I don't always agree with Mike Easley, but I find it hard to argue with the basic proposition that one job of the top executive is to provide leadership for the common good. In this case, Easley wants to freeze North Carolina's automatic gas tax increases ("Nobody ever anticipated that Washington would let gas prices get this high") and look elsewhere for some of the funds to maintain roads. We'll see what the General Assembly has to say when when they get back into town on Tuesday, but it's good to see Easley getting out front on this issue.

North Carolina 25th in Taxes Charged

With conservatives always clamoring over being overtaxed by the state, including three of the Civitas Foundation's seven goals for this year being elimination of one tax or another, it is always important to take a deep breath of reality. As the Triangle Business Journal reports today, North Carolina is 25th in the nation in how much tax they charge residents:

North Carolinians paid $2,146.68 per capita in state taxes last year, enough to earn the state a 25th ranking among all 50 states. The state ranked 25th in 2004 as well.

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The Civitas Institute's 7-Point Conservative Agenda for General Assembly's Short Session

The General Assembly begins their even-year short session on May 9, and the right is helping us out a little bit with the pregame show. Here's the (John William Pope) Civitas Institute's agenda, as laid out in this piece in the North Carolina Conservative:

  • Eliminate taxes that they call "temporary;"
  • Enact the Taxpayer Protection Act (is this just TaBoR by another name?);
  • Kill the Gas Tax (I think we've been over this already);

Middle v. Upper Class

Today during the speech by John Edwards that I went to today someone asked the question, why should the middle class have to pay for the poor people....?

My friend said something to me about people in the middle class tending to align themselves with the most upper-class in society, as opposed to aligning themselves with the lower class. It's like everyone has this psychological bent to see themselves as richer than they are. So when Democrats talk about raising taxes for the richest part of society, people are feeling personally attacked. They feel like they are the richest part, and they already are squeezed by the taxes as they are.

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CJ Is at it again - Misrepresentation my ass, that's a lie.

In today's issue, Joseph Coletti, Fiscal Policy Analyst for the John Locke Foundation, states:

Tax receipts started rising again in 2005. Collections for the current fiscal year are already $200 million ahead of forecasts. Just don’t expect to get any of it back. The government growers have already spent it two or three times over, like the lottery money.

There is a link to the lottery money phrase, which makes it seem as if there is good data behind this, but oops, none of their links actually work. They are all dead ends. Incompetent much, CJ?

The lottery has not already spent the money two or three times over, just as the legislature has not spent the taxes collected for 2006 two or three times over. Both of these statements are just outright lies.

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