Nearly half of likely North Carolina voters familiar with the tax cut package state lawmakers enacted this year oppose it, while only 42 percent support it. Don’t take our word for it. That’s what a poll by a prominent supporter of the package shows.
Of course, the group that commissioned the poll, Americans for Prosperity, chose to highlight other results that were more favorable to its position. But those results came only after the respondents were given one-sided information about the tax package, which slashed income taxes for profitable corporations and the wealthy.
Among those who had heard “a lot” or “some” information about the tax package even before the pollster called, 47% opposed it. Forty-two percent supported it and 11% weren’t sure.
The poll of 1,000 likely voters also showed:
- Only 15% of respondents felt that state lawmakers did a good job of dealing with the economy and jobs during the recent legislative session.
- A majority of respondents were not sold on having all taxpayers pay the same personal income tax rate (a “flat tax”), with 37% saying a flat tax is less fair and another 16% saying they were unsure.
The most flawed aspect of the AFP poll is that it failed to mention the real-world tradeoffs between cutting taxes and investing in our state. After all, the tax package will drain resources from education and other vital services that North Carolina families and businesses rely on every day, but AFP did not tell that side of the story when it asked the likely voters for their opinions.
Faced with the choice of adequately funding our public schools, ensuring health care for the elderly, and investing in services that help create economic opportunity for everyone, most North Carolinians are likely to choose a future of shared economic prosperity and not tax cuts that largely benefit the wealthy and profitable corporations. That’s why nearly half of those who already had some information about the tax package and its implications opposed it.
AFP also tries to spin results showing that most of those polled believe that states with lower taxes are more economically competitive. The evidence, however, tells a different story. States with higher taxes are just as, or even more, competitive than those with low taxes. And state corporate income taxes represent less than 2 percent of business costs, an amount so small that it doesn’t influence where a business locates its headquarters or expands its operations.
Those facts, of course, also went unmentioned by AFP.