Art Pope celebrates Tax Day

Art Pope, NC's Budget Director and purchaser of elections, editorializes in the latest News and Observer on how NC's tax reforms are a "benefit to working families".

We'll make a few observations and, first off, thank the News and Observer for publishing an editorial from the "horse's mouth", rather than one of the usual surrogates from Pope's Civitas or Locke Foundation stinktanks. However, we did notice this little tagline at the end of the PopeEd:

Art Pope is the state budget director and a former member of the N.C. House of Representatives.

Funny ... I didn't notice any disclaimer on Pope's piece, noting that he didn't speak for our state government, like other state employees have to do. Did Pope have to clear the op-ed with his boss like these other employees?

Well, let's see what the Popester has to say about tax reform:

McCrony thinks federal money is all the rage for highway funds and disaster relief, not so much for Medicaid

If hypocrisy were still a sin, the McCrony administration would be toiling in the seventh level of hell until all eternity. Chris Fitzsimon breaks it down.

A Takedown of Carolina Journal's Convenient "Journalism"

Hot off the heels of getting a little love from NC Policy Watch during their Sunshine Week, The Rant has exposed the Carolina Journal's rather fraudulent story about tax fraud.

Carolina Journal has tried to dredge up fear of "Mexicans" and those with "Hispanic-sounding names," and has relied on one Lee County GOP activist named Martha Underwood for the crux of their convenient story. But, as The Rant shows, Underwood's story lacks proof, and a simple timeline of the events shows this story is, at best, questionable. Underwood's story unravels quickly with a few Google searches and access to a calendar.

Bob Rucho is a moron

A recent study from the NC Public Interest Research Group shows that North Carolina is being cheated out of $61 million of tax revenue because corporations use tax loopholes and tax shelters to avoid paying their fair share of NC taxes. Taking in less money has consequences, of course:

In North Carolina, that $61 million would be enough to pay the salaries of 1,300 more teachers or cover the in-state tuition and fees for nearly 3,780 students at N.C. State University, a news release from NCPIRG says.

“Tax dodging is not a victimless offense,” Kalila Zunes-Wolfe, a program associate with the organization, says. “When corporations skirt taxes, the public has to make up the difference. That means higher taxes for average taxpayers or cuts to public programs.”

Charter mismanagement costs taxpayers big time

Here's a great way to be your own boss. Be on a government committee that approves charter schools (the Charter School Advisory Board) and then collect management fees from the schools you get to approve. Can you say, conflict of interest?? Evidently the NCGA can't as they have allowed this situation to come to pass.

Lindsay Wagner of NC Policy Watch reports:

South Brunswick Charter School will be operated by the Roger Bacon Academy and will rent property from Coastal Conservancy, LLC. Baker A. Mitchell Jr.—who happens to sit on the Charter School Advisory Board—owns both of those entities.

The GOP's diabolical tax timing

Alternate title: What a difference a year makes [cross-posted from BackwardNC]

As we celebrate a new year, with all the reflections and predictions, BackwardNC offers our own prediction for the next year and beyond. This isn't one of those "here's what might happen" sort of things; this is just documentation of what already was planned by the NC GOP with their tax increase.

(In the home of Ned & Cora Average (NC Average), in [insert your favorite county here] ).

April 2014

Ned: Hey, Cora, have you noticed? I'm takin' home 11 bucks more in my paycheck every week! Our boys [insert GOP state representatives/senators names here] are doin' OK by us!


The truth about the NC GOP tax increase

The right-wing nut jobs from the Jones Street House of Pain, along with DAG McClowny, have been on an all-out propaganda push to try to convince North Carolinians that they're getting a tax cut, just because the nominal income tax rate will decline and they'll see an extra buck or two in their paychecks.

Of course, their propaganda is disingenuous a pack of outright lies. They know that nearly all of the tax cuts go to the wealthiest people and that, with the elimination of many deductions and the earned income tax credit, coupled with the new 7.5% sales tax on many goods and services, the overall tax bill for most people will go up.

And as usual, it's nicely summarized by the good folks at NC Policy Watch.


Word is getting out about the Great North Carolina GOP Tax Cut of 2014, and it's exciting. People earning $25,000 a year are making out like bandits. They'll get back fifty bucks!

What are you going to do with all that cash?

The Great North Carolina GOP Tax Increase of 2014

Originally published in November, but even more relevant now that the countdown has begun.

When Republicans talk about their big tax cut coming in January, people will be forgiven for not getting all that excited. The bottom rate will drop from 6.0% to 5.8%, which qualifies as nothing more than chump change. For a person making $25,000, the tax cut is whopping $50. Impressive.

Of course, if you happen to be a high-income earner, the picture is a lot prettier. Your tax rate will drop from 7.75% to 5.8%. So if you're making $200,000, you'll get a $3,900 tax break. In other words, your benefit from the Republican plan is 78 times higher than the person at the bottom of the income scale.


GOP tax "reform": tax movies, not yachts

As 2013 begins to draw to a close, it seems that the NC GOP spin machine is directed toward trying to persuade North Carolinians that they'll get a tax cut, including the use of posters with babies and countdown tweets:

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