- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

One good thing about the North Carolina ballot

Things aren’t looking so great in North Carolina policy and politics these days, but here’s one good thing:

We aren’t Florida or Colorado or Michigan or one of several other states that have regressive tax initiatives on their ballots this fall.

The folks at Citizens for Tax Justice have compiled the list [1] and this post on Think Progress [2] this morning highlights the three worst:

So-called “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” (TABOR): Florida voters will decide whether to accept Amendment 3 [3], which limits [4] public spending and revenue collection through a proscribed and — according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) — flawed [5] formula. It also requires a supermajority of the legislature to override the revenue limit. TABOR virtually guarantees revenue shortages and makes it extremely difficult to raise more, so Amendment 3 will likely lead to drastic cuts in public spending. As the CBPP shows, if all the spending cuts were enacted at once, revenue losses would exceed $11 billion in ten years….

Supermajority requirements for changing tax policy: Both Michigan [6] and Washington [7] are debating requiring a two-thirds legislative supermajority in order to end tax breaks or increase tax rates. Such a requirement virtually guarantees legislative gridlock and a host of other problems [8].
In 2010, Washington put in place a supermajority requirement for revenue changes, known as I-1053, but it was struck down [9] as unconstitutional in May 2012….

Repealing the estate tax: Oregon voters will decide on Measure 84 [10], which gradually repeals the estate tax and will cause a $120 million loss in revenue for the state every year. Though other parts of the law are unclear [11], it could potentially “open a new egregious loophole allowing individuals to avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of land and stock by simply selling property to family members.” If this analysis [12] is accurate, Oregon would lose up to $175 million by 2021.

Fortunately for North Carolina, we don’t do ballot initiatives like this. Unfortunately, right-wing state lawmakers seem more than prepared to bring a lot of these goofy ideas before the General Assembly in 2013.

Read the entire story on these regressive proposals by clicking here [2].