William D. Owens: Not business-friendly

April 1, 2013 

Not very business-friendly

Given that our Republican-led legislature and governor campaigned for their elected positions primarily on a promise to make N.C. more “business friendly” (their words, not mine), proposed legislation to tax services (that are currently untaxed) makes me curious. How is the addition of a sales tax to services considered “business friendly”?

Basic economics tell us that an increased cost of services will result in less consumption of those services. With a few exceptions, the targeted service providers (hairdressers, landscapers, painters, shoe repair, carpentry, attorneys and accountants to name only a few of the 130 targeted services) are primarily small businesses. Small businesses are supposedly the backbone of our economy.

A reduction in the consumption of services will naturally trickle down to the owners and employees of these small businesses with reduced income, reduced benefits, less hiring and possibly layoffs.

Without even getting into the patent unfairness of balancing the budget on the backs of middle class and lower class citizens (who would have less disposable income to help drive the economy), as a small business owner, I ask: With friends like these, who needs enemies?

William D. Owens


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