Quick unscientific survey. By show of hands, please indicate if you think you are paying too little in taxes. Now, please raise your hand if you think Democrats in Raleigh are spending too much of your money. End of survey.
Senate plan would broaden tax base, lower rates
By Jordan Schrader
April 19, 2009
State Senate leaders are drawing up tax changes that would add $500 million to state coffers, in part by taxing a broader share of the money North Carolinians make and the services they spend it on.
The proposal they expect to unveil as early as Wednesday would offset some of those changes by bringing down the rates of income tax and sales tax.
Senate Finance Committee chairmen say their plan would make the tax code fairer by eliminating deductions and exemptions taken by a few and lowering the rates paid by everyone.
Those goals are shared by recent study commissions that have scoured the state tax code. The difference: Some key studies call for maintaining, not expanding, total revenues. Senators are looking to increase the state's take, drawing opposition from those who say a recession is the worst time to ask taxpayers for more.
But senators say their plan will provide needed filler for a budget hole expected to top $3 billion and a more stable source of funds to prevent future fiscal nightmares.
“That's when you have to do it, because your system is broken,” said one of the three committee chairmen, Sen. Dan Clodfelter, a Charlotte Democrat. “If you don't fix it, you'll just continue to limp along.”