NC's new ticket tax shows tax shift downward

November 26, 2013 

While the new Republican state taxes are foolish, misguided, unfair to the middle class and simply a shifting downward of the tax burden, you still have to chuckle at the justification for the the changes offered by GOP state Sen. Bob Rucho.

He was a co-sponsor of a big tax measure that Republicans slammed through the legislature this year, cutting income taxes for the rich and for corporations while laying on taxes for things like movie tickets, arts events, sporting events and even the Marbles kids museum.

See, Rucho says, new taxes were needed because, “We tried it the other way. It doesn’t work.”

Except it does work. This GOP tax maneuver will hit middle-class North Carolinians the hardest. It was all about pleasing the wealthy and businesses and not about being more fair with taxation. In coming up with a ridiculous tax plan that would give them bragging rights with their political donors, GOP legislators, if anything, again “fixed” something that wasn’t broken.

So now, all North Carolinians will pay more for simple pleasures and even educational ones. Marbles, for example, has tried to hold down admission prices to make itself accessible to all families.

And this is really fun to think about: As the corporate tax declines more in the next couple of years, prices may have to go up for entertainment even more to make up the difference.

Republicans claim the increases in ticket prices won’t be significant. True enough for the wealthier North Carolinians whom GOP lawmakers see as their most important constituency. But not for everyone else.

The increases that average folks are going to feel are a lesson, in a way, in tax writing and in the consequences of electing people who promise tax cuts before they’ve learned how to balance the state’s books. We can wait for the previews of the next round of Republican tax hikes. Popcorn would be nice, but we can’t afford it.

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