NC Budget and Tax Center

Reality Sinks In

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.

8 Comments

  1. Travis Cozart

    November 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    This post doesn’t really tell the whole story on the poll.

    “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 writer failed to mention that 46% of people said a flat tax is more fair. That’s a 9% swing away from “less fair.”

    Here’s the link to the poll, with results – http://bit.ly/1b6F8ts

    You’re picking and choosing. AFP didn’t provide all the information, but they had to do it in a way that would keep people on the phone to answer questions. You simply chose to leave out information. Shame.

  2. Alan

    November 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I like the term “Talibaggers”. I think this just about sums up the mentality of these knuckle-dragging “patriots”. In a few years, these part time civil-war re-enactors and economic terrorists will be gone, and their costumes will go for 50% off.

  3. Cedric Johnson

    November 8, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Hi Travis,

    Thanks for your response. Did you participate in the administration of the AFP poll? You state that “AFP didn’t provide all the information, but they had to do it in a way that would keep people on the phone to answer questions.” Thanks.

  4. gregflynn

    November 8, 2013 at 10:01 am

    The question was misleading in the first place: “A single flat rate. That means that all taxpayers will pay the same percentage of their income in taxes.” This is an over-generalization which in not true in practice.

  5. GOP Rules

    November 8, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Alan/ML,
    That is quite the mature stance. But that is typical of the progressives since they have no argument that holds when you apply things like logic or reality. They resort to elementary school grade name calling. Good going guys…or I should say guy since there is only one of you.

  6. Travis Cozart

    November 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

    I did not. I read the poll.

  7. LayintheSmakDown

    November 8, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    This should read “alternate reality”. When the NC economy finally gets competetive people will be much more satisfied. As jlp75 notes, these things take time and we need to see long term effects vs. this whining in the short term.

  8. Alan

    November 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I said Talibaggers, so there….