This editorial appeared in the Fayetteville Observer:
With one eye on short-term gains for communities that need help, we’ll cheer an expansion of the sales tax that will funnel more revenue to low-wealth counties. That’s what adding the sales tax to car repairs and appliance installations will do. Robeson County, for one, expects a $2 million gain in sales-tax revenue. Good.
But our other eye is on unintended consequences that could hurt the entire state. Expanding the sales tax to cover two more consumer services isn’t a hard blow in the grand scheme of things. But it’s a trend. Legislative leaders say it’s a step toward sharply increasing the sales-tax burden and eventually eliminating income taxes.
The sales tax is the most regressive form of taxation. It disproportionately affects the poor, who have little savings or investment money, and favors the rich, who have money to spare after they pay taxes on necessities.
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It will, in short, continue to widen the already-gaping gap between the rich and poor. Do we really want to go there?
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