Douglas Johnston: A savings gap

January 4, 2014 

The General Assembly’s nonpartisan staff says that in 2014 there will be winners and losers from the tax overhaul, but that as far as personal income taxes go, most people should see an increase in take-home pay. This claim dangerously disguises a major shift of the tax load to middle class wage earners and retirees.

Under the new tax law, the wealthiest get a 25 percent tax cut from what they would have paid, had there been no change in the tax law. The rest of us are lucky to see a 15 percent reduction in our income tax burden. The gap is doubled for most taxpayers when utilities and other tax changes are factored in.

Most people do not expect a tax cut to provide the same dollar amount of savings to everyone. We all have different incomes. But people do expect to see their tax bite reduced by the same percentage as the next person’s. Unless the tax savings gap is fixed, that won’t happen.

Douglas Johnston

Raleigh

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