GOP tax changes mean you pay more

GOP tax laws took effect this week that will mean a net increase for many North Carolina tax payers. For some it may not be a huge increase, but the fact is we are paying more. Republicans will nickel and dime us to death.

Eliminated was the tax-free shopping days scheduled for back-to-school shopping. Many of us saved on clothes, calculators, computers, and basic school supplies. The savings on a laptop for high school and college students was a huge benefit to many of us. You can see the full list of potential savings here.

Also eliminated was the tax-free shopping weekend for those buying certified energy-efficient household appliances. This tax break may not have been as widely enjoyed as the back-to-school tax break, but it was a much-needed incentive to encourage people to buy appliances that are more environmentally friendly.

Oh the irony!

The NCGA has publicly acknowledged what they all privately knew: Deputy Assistant Guvnor Pat's budget is nice fodder for the media, but Pat is thoroughly irrelevant and the Tillisberger runs this state and will set the budget while ignoring DAG McDelusional.

The state Senate is diving into the details of Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed $21 billion budget and will put out its own version in two or three weeks.

“I’m sure we’ll be seeing a little different budget,” said Sen. Harry Brown, a budget writer from Jacksonville.

The hilarious irony, though is this part of the article (the reporter opted for the trite yet convenient Q&A format):

Q: Why is there a shortfall?

A. A memo from the State Office of Budget and Management and the legislature’s Fiscal Research Division says the shortfall is related to personal income tax collections.

WS Journal on Republican ticket tax

As the state legislature heads back in to session on Wednesday, the Winston-Salem Journal follows up on one of the new taxes passed by the Tea Baggers in the last session - the event ticket tax.

Some organizations, such as the Piedmont Opera, won't have to deal with the tax until next year - the tickets for their current season were already sold before the tax went into effect in January. Others - like the River Run Film Festival - have had to raise prices.


McCrory, Pope lie about tax numbers

Since the News and Observer gave us Art Pope's op-ed singing the praises of his TeaBagger legislature's tax "reforms", let's give equal time to Chris Fitzsimon, the Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, with his op-ed from the Robesonian to bring some of Pope's rhetoric down to earth.

The N.C. Budget & Tax Center finds that most middle class and low-income families will pay more on average under the tax plan, but it’s easy to see why the folks on the Right feel obligated to distort the facts.

There’s no dispute that a millionaire will pay nearly $12,000 less under the tax change. That’s a hard sell.

The claim that most taxpayers are paying less is based on a study plagued by flawed methodology. rth Carolina.

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!

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