Richard Hester: A poor proposal

January 18, 2013 

A poor proposal

The Republican-led state legislature proposes to do away with the state income tax and make up that $12 billion loss (60 percent of the state budget of $20 billion) with measures that include increased sales taxes.

For example, the proposal calls for raising the sales tax on groceries from 2 percent to 8 percent. A family that spends $400 a month on groceries would see its sales tax jump from $8 to $32.

Who would be adversely affected by this shifting of taxes from incomes to sales? Those people on low incomes who struggle to make ends meet. Who would benefit? Wealthy people and corporations.

This is a shameless plan to shift the state tax burden from the rich to the poor. Republican Sen. Bob Rucho of Charlotte claims that corporations would pass along their tax savings to consumers. Where do we see evidence of widespread corporate compassion that would make them distribute such a windfall to the public?

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger says of this tax overhaul, “It is important for us in terms of making sure there is a fair allocation of the cost of government.” This is a perverse redefinition of fairness.

Richard Hester


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