The Senate tax proposal to expand the sales tax to services and use the extra revenue to reduce the income tax turns reform on its head.
For several years Senate Democrats proposed to expand the sales tax to services and reducing the sales tax rate from 7 percent to 3 percent or even 2 percent, for a tax-neutral result. That was true tax fairness because low income and the middle classes pay a larger portion of their income in sales tax than do higher income people. The sales tax is the most regressive tax, so lowering the rate would benefit everyone.
Broadening the tax to more services but giving the increased revenue to the wealthy is the exact opposite of tax fairness. The Senate plan is truly a gross redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class to the already well off – who are doing just fine without the help of the reverse Republican Robin Hoods.
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The writer is a former Democratic state senator from Carrboro.