The ink was barely dry on the tax deal announced by the governor and legislative leaders before some supporters started backing away from promises that no one will see their taxes go up and that employers will come rushing to North Carolina.
Legislators who backed the plan insisted everyone would benefit. But the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C. group that was among the most prominent supporters of the drive to slash taxes for corporations and the wealthy, now says it’s impossible to predict how the scheme will affect individual taxpayers.
“You can always find an example that’s going to be lower or higher,” the group’s Elizabeth Malm told the Greensboro News & Record. “It kind of depends on what your situation is.”
Malm also contradicted another key argument of the tax plan’s supporters: that it’s just what North Carolina needs to create jobs. “I don’t think anyone thinks that, if you change your tax code a little bit, companies are going to come flying in,” she said.
In today’s House debate, one lawmaker who backed the plan acknowledged that the jobs argument was, well, just a belief. We agree – and it’s a false belief at that. In fact, jobs have failed to materialize in other states that have slashed their income taxes.
Unfortunately, the truth was an afterthought in the blind rush to cut taxes. The results might have turned out differently if we had more time to debate this overhaul of the tax code.