NC Budget and Tax Center

The greatest tax shift in North Carolina history

An article in today’s News & Observer by John Frank focuses on the vague tax plan presented by Senator Phil Berger earlier this week. Preliminary projections by the Fiscal Research Division indicate that the majority of taxpayers would see a tax increase once the plan is fully implemented, reports Frank. Accordingly, Berger’s claim that his tax plan would represent the biggest tax cut in North Carolina’s history would instead represent the greatest tax shift in the state’s history, raising the tax load on middle and low income North Carolinians while providing the highest income North Carolinians with a tax cut.

The news article highlights that lower income families and those with children would likely see their tax load increase while higher income individuals – particularly single individuals with no children – would get a tax cut. The preliminary findings by legislative fiscal analysts are not surprising and align with outcomes for existing tax proposals that would cut income tax rates and rely more on a consumption tax that would apply to more goods and services.

As more details of Berger’s plan become public, this tax shift that provides a tax cut for high income North Carolinians while raising taxes for middle and low income North Carolinians will become more and more apparent. Senator Rucho, who joined Berger during his press conference and lauded the merits of the plan, is quoted in the N&O article as cautioning that the plan is a “trial balloon.” If it is indeed a “trial balloon,” it is a costly one and certainly too risky to bet North Carolina’s future.


  1. david esmay

    May 12, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    This just goes to show you that middle class conservatives are “useful idiots” to the GOP. At some point maybe they’ll wake up and start voting for their own self-interests and the common good, instead of against them.

  2. jlp75

    May 13, 2013 at 7:58 am


    But, but Communism, Socialism, Marxism, Atheist Muslim (they always fail to understand this contradiction) something or other. I wouldn’t bet much on them waking up anytime soon. Perhaps we should just call the lower and middle class conservative ideology Stupidism. Any pain these people are subjected to will be quickly redirected to Democrats by the wise wealthy conservatives. Times are tough, we all have to tighten our belts and freedom. They will never learn that to conservatism, freedom means the freedom to systematically transfer what small amount of wealth the little guy has to the top. It is only class warfare when the wealthy are being attacked.

  3. Ken (EEI)

    May 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm


    Shifting the tax burden from the rich to the middle class is not really transferring “…small amount of wealth the little guy has to the top” because the people at the top (i.e. the wealthy) are not really getting anything from the poor/middle class as much as they are being allowed to keep more of what they make.

  4. jlp75

    May 13, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    The wealthy take advantage of the services that government provides to foster the business environment they use to accumulate their wealth while transferring the burden of paying for said services (i.e. transportation systems, ports, law enforcement, fire protection, military protection, education of the workforce, etc.) then wealth has been transferred. The middle class pays to provide the services, the wealthy disproportionately benefit from them. This is where the wealth transfer takes place. If they can manage to successfully shift the entire burden to the poor and middle classes while still benefiting there would be a huge transfer of wealth from top to bottom. If businesses could flourish in a vacuum, devoid of government, then Somalia would be booming with business now. It isn’t and nor would we be without strong cooperation of the public and private sectors. Both sectors are vitally important for our success.

  5. jlp75

    May 13, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    *Sentence should have read: If they can manage to successfully shift the entire burden to the poor and middle classes while still benefiting there would be a huge transfer of wealth from bottom to top.

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